JouleBug is an app that encourages and rewards sustainable actions (represented by Pins). As users earn points and Pins, effective energy use is spotlighted with actions like adjusting the thermostat, cold water washing, installing LEDs, ridding vampire load and more. As these actions reduce the user’s electric bill, it’s made visible to them in the app via the Green Button Data graph.
The app has hundreds of Pins, with dozens focused on wise and timely electricity use (demand response capable). Each Pin shows what that action can save annually in dollars, kilowatt hours, carbon emissions, or other fun conversions. Pins have educational and entertaining videos associated, as well as web pages with in-depth helpful information. All combine in JouleBug to make learning about wise energy use easy and fun.
JouleBug is mobile so users can learn and practice energy saving habits anywhere and anytime. JouleBug can even send reminders during peak demand periods urging users to take a specific energy saving action. Each time a pin is Buzzed, the energy load is lightened.
The app’s Leaderboard keeps score and it’s easy to see how a user stacks up relative to friends. Users take pictures, comment and share their actions; the social aspects of sharing these sustainable moments have a positive effect on getting others to act. From a gentle prod to competitive trash talking, users can now have fun when saving energy.
Communities (e.g., cities, schools and universities, businesses) can sponsor periodic contests with prizes. This offers an engaging and focused way to educate members about specific goals as individuals encourage each other with their actions.
JouleBug users see their overall achievements in their Profile’s Trophy Case, enabling them to review and take pride in their practiced sustainable behaviors. Next to the Trophy Case is a Graph of their past year’s energy use via DOE’s Green Button Data. The Graph provides a picture of how their actions affect their energy spend and they can see what progress they’ve made.
JouleBug is available for download on iPhone and Android.
After installing, start in the Buzz section to begin learning ways to become more sustainable. Energy category is the most obvious way to save energy, but other Categories also have an influence on energy use.
To see JouleBug’s use of Green Button Data, tap Profile and then Graph. For sample data, use:
Utility: Pacific Gas & Electric
As the Green Button API becomes more widely used by utilities, we will show year over year energy spending reductions and correlate with JouleBug actions, providing even more reinforcement to using energy wisely.