Raleigh, N.C. — The City of Raleigh has teamed up with a mobile software application company to create a city-wide energy-saving contest. The winner will receive a prize worth $200, and the contest is open for another couple weeks.
The app, JouleBug, allows users to earn points, pins and badges by tracking existing habits for improving sustainable behavior and learn new ones.
Users can compete with friends from Facebook and Twitter, or as part of a group competing with other groups, according to the City of Raleigh’s website. Points and pins are tracked and posted through the JouleBug leaderboard.
“We found that people are more than 10 times more engaged when they're actively playing and competing with each other,” said JouleBug creative director John Williard.
Employees at I-Cubed, a software engineering firm on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, have been using the app and competing with each other. Reid Overton and Matthew Ng are fierce competitors in the office.
“Reid basically won. He jumped ahead like 200 or 300 points and I was like, I can't catch up with him,” Ng said.
Overton said he and other employees began doing simple things, such as turning off lights and computer monitors when not in use and bringing their own coffee mugs to work.
“We drink a lot of coffee and, instead of using disposable coffee cups, we use coffee mugs we can put in the dishwasher and not have all that wasted trash,” Overton said.
Overton says the JouleBug app has provided “the little bit of motivation that you need.”