ESC Project Officer
Our brief: Can a consumer crowd provide actionable feedback to ideas about future domestic energy supply?
What we did: We set up an online (Crowdicity) crowdsourcing platform called ‘Home Truths’ with 300 domestic consumers for 6 months. We started with a Challenge Design Workshop to explore and design the Crowd agenda around proposed changes to how customers receive and consume energy domestically. We set challenges such as How might you charge your electric car in the future?, What to turn off during peak electricity hours? and How smart are your appliances? We then recruited for Home Truths members to join the ESC’s domestic research panel, a considerable number of consumers who respond qualitatively regarding their domestic energy usage and are receptive to trialing new energy systems and products.
What happened: The crowdsourcing participants discussed each topic in detail. Home Truths achieved a very high 59% active membership rating – people found the challenges well-crafted and engaging and in some cases were actually inspired to change their habits.
As an endorsement to their interest level in a low-interest category, over half of the community participants also signed up to the ESC’s domestic energy long-term panel. As part of the project, we also trained ESC staff to run crowdsourcing programs themselves in the future.