Reduce Your Juice: Assisting Low-income Households to Better Manage Their Energy Use

[ Project Dates: 2013 – 2016 ]

Reduce Your Juice is an initiative of Brisbane’s sustainability agency CitySmart and QUT. The program is an Australian-first social marketing intervention helping low-income households manage their electricity consumption and save money on energy bills.

Low-income earners are a vulnerable group in society with limited resources and large energy bills. Past approaches to energy saving behaviour are typically informational, with this approach criticised as less effective.

The challenge was to help young, low-income renters save money on their electricity bills by improving their energy efficiency behaviour. To solve this challenge, CitySmart and QUT worked with Brisbane-based marketing agency BCM Partnership and developed Reduce Your Juice – a unique behaviour-change program, combining mobile games, SMS and social media in a digital approach to help the target market implement simple ideas to save electricity and reduce their electricity bills.

Reduce Your Juice began as a trial program. It received funding from the Australian Government to trial new and innovative approaches to energy saving to inform future policy. During 2015, two rounds of Reduce Your Juice took place with a small group of low-income participants aged 18-35, who were renting in Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay or Redlands council areas. Over 1000 households completed the 8-week program, making it through all the tasks and challenges to unlock a major reward at the end.

Headline results include:

  • 12.3% improvement in energy consumption on previous year
  • $54.82 average saving on quarterly electricity bills ($219.28 annual saving)
  • 22.5% improvement in energy habits
  • 78% of starters completed the program
  • 97.2% recommended RYJ to friends and family
  • Significant improvement in attitudes, bill control, self-efficacy.

Funding / Grants

  • Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (2013 - 2015)

Chief Investigators

Team

Other Team Members

  • Tim Swinton – Project Manager (CitySmart)
  • Jo-Anne Little (CitySmart)
  • Emma Kloda (CitySmart)
  • Margarita Camus (CitySmart)
  • Cherie Pasion (CitySmart)

Partners

Other Partners

  • Energex
  • QCOS
  • The Good Guys
  • Bigfish (Digital communications)
  • Evoke Communications (PR Agency)

Publications


Website

View the Reduce Your Juice website here.

Reduce Your Juice – Did it work

Energy Efficiency Tips from Reduce Your Juice

Media

  • ‘How playing games on your phone or tablet could cut your power bill’ – The Conversation [read article]

Awards and Recognition

International:

  • 2016 Silver award, w3 Awards, Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, New York, USA
  • 2016 Honoree Mobile Sites and Apps, Webby Awards

National:

  • 2016 Winner Best Mobile Marketing, Australian Marketing Institute Awards for Excellence in Marketing
  • 2015 Winner Best Residential Energy Efficiency Project, National Energy Efficiency Awards

State:

  • 2016 Queensland Winner Best Mobile Innovation, Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) iAwards
  • 2016 Queensland Winner Best Consumer Research Insights, Australian Marketing Institute Awards for Excellence in Marketing