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New media for top informed consumers regarding sustainable and energy efficient products (EFFICIENCY_2.1)

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The main objective of Efficiency_2.1 was to support consumers in their purchase decisions by providing up-to-date information about the most energy efficient products on the market and by supporting consumers in leading energy efficient and eco-conscious lifestyles. The Europe-wide campaign myEcoNavigator assisted consumers by providing simple, easily digestible, and interactive information on the most energy-efficient products on the market via the smartphone app “ecoGator”. Smartphone-optimised consumer web portals (including Euro-Topten sites) were used to raise awareness of the benefits of energy efficient and sustainable products, while social media channels (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) encouraged users to share the information with friends and family. Efficiency_2.1 specifically targeted the online "early adopters" and "early majority" (also called internet natives) but served also the more than 70% of European households covered by the consortium’s geographic scope, which are connected to the internet.Another notably achievement is the fact that ecoGator, building on the EU's energy efficiency labels, was the winner of the 2015 Sustainable Energy Europe Award in the category "Energy Efficiency".

Results

  • Roll out of the shopping guidance smartphone app ecoGator in 10 countries. The project’s main output, the smartphone app ecoGator was launched in October 2014, and 27,000 smartphone and tablet users had installed it by January 2016. The Efficiency 2.1 consortium received several awards (“Sustainable Energy Award 2015” in the category “Energy Efficiency”, Futurezone Award “App of the year 2014”, eceee Summer Study “most promising / innovative project presented” in 2015) for its team effort.
  • Campaign web portals and social media channels dedicated to sustainable and energy efficient products and their energy- and eco-conscious use: 10 info platforms were established and maintained as pillar for implementing the myEcoNavigator campaign. Every project partner used its already well-established social media accounts or implemented new ones to spread news on a very frequent basis and to promote the app ecoGator.
  • Widespread communication activities, involving media and key actors promotion channels. The app itself was widely promoted and content on efficient energy use was disseminated by online, printed media and radio. Some partners were also successful in gaining TV presence for ecoGator. All communication measures resulted in reaching 108 million people via media coverage. About 5.8 million households were targeted by key actors’ promotion channels.
  • Involvement of stakeholders and experts: Preliminary and final results of Efficiency 2.1 were presented and discussed at several occasions, including scientific conferences, expert workshops and events. These effective efforts ensured that ecoGator and the project itself were widely perceived in the respective expert and stakeholder community on EU level.
  • The Efficiency_2.1 project yielded savings of 147 GWh/year up to 2015.
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Lessons learned

  • Critical success factor: enhancing the app use on a frequent basis. The consortium’s decision to extend the app scope beyond the shopping assistant functionalities to further include “gamification” elements, which encourage the user to use the app on a more regular basis, has been proven crucial. Consequently, several measures have been included providing an incentive for frequent use (e.g., news section, sharing activities on social media, reward system, price competitions, quiz)
  • Challenges related to innovative key functionality “energy label scanner”. The app’s innovative key functionality “energy label scanner” (being the first app on European level with this feature) represents indeed the unique selling proposition in promoting the app. Key success factors for proper scanning are the lighting situation in the shop as well as the specific label itself, often deviating from the official EU layout.
  • Underestimation of effort and time for implementing a complex and powerful app “ecoGator”. Overall the implementation and thorough testing of a multilingual app has been much more time consuming and complex as expected. The strong cooperation and support of the project consortium facilitated a more rapid progress, involving the accomplishment of a series of ad-hoc tasks, derived from the app development process.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Austrian Energy Agency
Austria
Contact point: 
Name: 
Thomas Bogner
Tel: 
+43 1 586 15 24 - 160
Name: 
Leonardo Barreto Gómez, Cornelia Schenk, Maria Amtmann
Tel: 
+43-1-5861524-127;+43-1-5861524-112;+43-1-5861524-193
Name: 
Dr. Tirso Leonardo Barreto-Gómez; Mag. Cornelia Schenk, MSc; DI Maria Amtmann
Tel: 
+43-(0)1-5861524-127; +43-(0)1-5861524-112; +43-(0)1-5861524-193;
Name: 
Georg Trnka
Tel: 
+43/1/5861524-173

Budget

In brief

Duration:
01/04/2013 to 30/09/2015
Contract number: 
IEE/12/877/SI2.644762

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