Smart Grid

September 17, 2012

Game On! ComEd Posts Four Interactive Energy Management Challenges

Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison—an energy delivery company known by its ratepayers as ComEd—has launch four new digital games designed to put our power knowledge to the test. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.

The four interactive games—"Energy Efficiency 101," "Fast Fridge," "Smart Home," and "Power On!”— not only are geared to entertain and teach players about how to manage energy use and save money, but to demonstrate the work involved in modernizing the electric grid. They are accessible via the ComEd website. They are accessible via ComEd's website or Facebook page; and select games will be available on Android (News - Alert) tablets and Apple's iPad.

Each game has a different theme:

·         "Energy 101," dares players to complete a timed, multiple-choice quiz that poses questions about programmable thermostats, energy efficient appliances, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and other efficiency-related topics, while providing them with energy-saving tips that can be implemented at home to manage energy use.

·         "Fast Fridge" tests players' memory skills by challenging them to remove specific items from an open refrigerator before all the cold air can escape. 

·         "Smart Home" displays common household appliances and teaches players about the energy required to power such devices, rewarding players for turning off higher wattage items before they disappear, while also managing their family's comfort level through a visible happiness meter.

·         “Power On!" put players in charge of teams of utility workers making equipment upgrades to an electric grid to understand how new technologies improve the service in the neighborhood as they work to build the new smart grid. This game helps customers see the work that is being done to upgrade the current electric system

"'Power On!' is similar to the real-life upgrades that ComEd is performing throughout northern Illinois to make the system stronger and more reliable," said Mike McMahan, vice president of Smart Grid & Technology. ComEd plans to install approximately four million new smart meters across its service territory over the next ten years. These meters, in conjunction with in-home display units, will allow users to identify their real-time energy use through a secure Internet connection.

"The new games are a great preview for what's possible with the new smart grid technology and the smart home, as well as teaching players about existing ways to save energy and money," said Jennifer Montague, director of Marketing for ComEd. "They were designed to be fun for players, but also to teach them about the amount of energy required to power their appliances and how new technology will allow them to better manage their electricity usage."

The new games debuting this month are the first in a series of eight game releases. Additional games will be released in October, November, and December of this year, as well as in January 2013. They also will be promoted through ComEd's Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter and YouTube channels and will be playable at the utility's ComEducation booth at community events throughout northern Illinois.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli