22 June 2016

A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Be the first to share

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for people to participate in energy reduction programs.


The CITYOPT promotional video, created by Experientia
and presented during the final event in Nice, France.
A French version of the video is also available.

Funded under the FP7 European Commission framework, CITYOPT started in 2014, with the aim of creating  state-of-the-art ways to protect locations that suffer from fragile energy supplies. The city of Nice was chosen as the location for the French pilot, as it represents just such a fragile energy region. The pilot was carried out by the local energy provider EDF, the French research institute CSTB, the Nice Côte d’Azur Métropole, and Experientia.

Taking a user-centered approach, Experientia has been part of involving local families and stakeholders like energy companies and public authorities in participatory activities to help define the project concept. The result of the collaborative design process was the CITYOPT app. The app was distributed to 140 families living in Nice, France, for a pilot scheme to see if the app could help people to change their energy consumption behaviors.

A CITYOPT participant holding the tablet with the CITYOPT app during an interview.

One of the CITYOPT participants using the CITYOPT app during an interview with Experientia and EDF researchers.


In the winter of 2015-2016, our participating families were sent a warning SMS the night before there was going to be a peak demand for energy (such as the coldest evenings). The SMS invited participants to reduce the amount of energy they would use during the peak event. Their energy consumption reduction was measured by the Linky smart meter (which had been recently deployed to French customers). Once people’s energy savings had been measured, they were converted into points. The more energy people saved, the more points they were awarded. But the points weren’t for personal glory – instead, using a crowdfunding model, residents could choose to use their points to fund local non-profit projects, with the project that got the most support eventually gaining funding.

Local anchorage is one of the key aspects of the CITYOPT project: offering people the chance to crowdfund good causes in the neighborhood helps to strengthen their sense of belonging to a local community. These community aspects of the program provided an increased motivation for participants to reduce their energy consumption, even when they weren’t receiving any personal economic benefit.

A person turn off the electric oven while holding a tablet with the CITYOPT app.

During the peak alert, the CITYOPT app invites participants to turn off electrical appliances.

The pilot demonstration results have been encouraging: participants reacted positively and responded to the SMSs on a regular basis: during peak loads, EDF registered a decrease of electricity usage equal to 300Wh per household during the winter alerts, which is approximately 28% less than the estimated business-as-usual average in the same time interval.

Last Thursday the Innovative City 2016 conference held in Nice hosted the CITYOPT pilot’s final event, in which Patrick Guibbolini, on behalf of EDF, and the newly nominated Mayor of Nice, Philippe Pradal, awarded the three non-profit projects backed by CITYOPT participants.

The Major of Nice Philippe Pradal.

The Mayor of Nice, Philippe Pradal, giving an introductory speech during the CITYOPT final event in Nice.

Each project received an amount of money corresponding to the number of points donated by the CITYOPT participants. While the small scale of the pilot means that the funds raised were not particularly large at this point, it does suggest that significant results could be achieved by extending the project to a broader community of participants.
The three projects were:

  1. PIMMS (Point Information Médiation Multi Services): a service for elderly people living in rest homes, who risk isolation from society, to give them guidance on their rights and administrative support.
  2. Les petits débrouillards: an association involving children and teenagers in public experiences and challenges mainly related with scientific topics, taking place in the local urban context.
  3. Caisse des écoles: helping schoolchildren by buying books, CD-ROMs and digital equipment (such as computers or interactive multimedia boards) for local schools and libraries.

 

The CITYOPT award cerimony.

The award ceremony in which three local non-profit projects received a check with money donated by participants through their energy savings.

While the Nice pilot is now concluded, the CITYOPT project is not finished. The next steps will focus on analyzing the collected data: not just the energy consumption during peak loads, but also usage of the CITYOPT app, in order to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of program. Experientia will focus on addressing end-users’ satisfaction, and will suggest areas for further improvements to increase the participation rates.

Be the first to share
13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup
Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l'opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 - dalle 9:30 alle …
9 June 2018
[Book] Radical Help – by Hilary Cottam
Radical Help - How we can remake the relationships between us and revolutionise the welfare state By Hilary Cottam Virago Publishing June 2018, 320 pages > Book talk at the RSA How should we live: how should we care for …
11 May 2018
[Book] Massive Codesign
Massive Codesign. A Proposal for a Collaborative Design Framework By Anna Meroni, Daniela Selloni and Martina Rossi Released with the Creative Commons License Attribution-NoDerivatives 3.0 Italia (CC BY-ND 3.0 IT) in the peer reviewed Design International series …
11 May 2018
A design lab is making rituals for secular people
At the Ritual Design Lab in Silicon Valley, a small team of “interaction designers” is working to generate new rituals for modern life, with an eye to user experience. Created by Kursat Ozenc and Margaret …
4 May 2018
[Book] Automating Inequality
Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor By Virginia Eubanks St. Martin's Press, January 2018 272 pages The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years—because a …
3 May 2018
Invito: DesAlps innovation workshop per le PMI del territorio piemontese
Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 - dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria …
2 May 2018
[Book] Ethnographic Thinking
Ethnographic Thinking: From Method to Mindset by Jay Hasbrouck Routledge Press, December 2017 140 pages This book argues that ‘ethnographic thinking’―the thought processes and patterns ethnographers develop through their practice―offers companies and organizations the cultural insights they need to …
27 April 2018
Essay: On Weaponised Design
On Weaponised Design is an excellent, very well-informed essay by Cade, published in February 2018 on the Our Data Our Selves site of the Tactical Technology Collective, a Berlin-based non profit dedicated to privacy, digital …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

3 May 2018
Invito: DesAlps innovation workshop per le PMI del territorio piemontese

Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]

27 April 2018
Impact through Design – Event in Turin, Italy

(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull’impatto generato attraverso il design in riferimento ai Sustainable Development Goals definiti dalle Nazioni Unite. Attori dell’ecosistema territoriale ed […]

26 February 2018
Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Technology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many of which work in integration with each other, for example, wearables connected to IOT applications. Experientia’s report provide an overview of some […]

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
30 November 2017
New European study on e-Government initiatives

The latest eGovernment benchmark report of the European Commission shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments. Performance […]

See all articles