Reducing household power usage

  • 2018

In Australia, increased energy use during peak periods (such as hot summer days) can be a big problem.


People have a behavioural tendency to stick with pre-set options (defaults). Changing the default can therefore change behaviour.

This means that people can be prompted to change their behaviour even when they aren’t expecting those prompts.


We partnered with energy provider Powershop to run a randomised controlled trial with different text messages. The goal was to see how we could encourage lower energy use during peak-demand events.

Result & Impact

When customers were sent these text messages by default rather than after opting in, the messages were more effective. This was because the messages sent by default captured customers who weren’t already energy conscious and therefore had more room to reduce their usage.