The Challenge


Local utilities needed to create an effective campaign to motivate landlords to invest in energy upgrades for their rental properties.  

How do we motivate landlords to weatherize tenant units and make them more energy efficient? The cost savings are passed along to the tenant, but the expense is the landlord’s burden – it’s a classic split incentive. GameTheory worked with the Burlington Electric Department and Vermont Gas to create a campaign that would leverage game-based approaches to overcome this notorious challenge.

The Audience: Landlords age 45-65 and primarily male

The Goal:  Motivate 25 landlords to conduct energy audits on tenant buildings. 

The Process

We created an out-of-the-box outreach campaign using game motivational tools such as status seeking and collaboration to challenge the whole community to reach a goal together. We identified the target demographic as one that would respond well to status symbols and a sense of cooperation in a community setting towards a goal.

This let us come up with the Energy Champ Challenge, an effort to “challenge” landlords in the area to become Energy Champs by a certain date. We set a goal and a deadline, and offered Energy Champ Status to anyone participating. Energy Champs received a badge that they can display on their buildings or promotional materials to show off their building and their own energy efficiency.

Balance of Game Tools

Check out our full list of Game Tools on our Method page.

The Results

  • 12 Inquiries in 2014 Pre-Campaign
  • 200+ Inquiries in 2015 Post-Campaign

With the Energy Champ Challenge we were able to dramatically increase the appeal and interest of this program and multiply the number of inquiries the company’s received, which as the upgrades are completed, will result in serious energy savings for the community.