Domino: Energy-saving project

Households account for approximately 30 % of the final electricity consumption in the European Union. Consumption from electric appliances like fridges, dryers, lamps, and TVs make up around 60 % of that. Households thus play an important role in reaching the EU target: Saving 20 % of energy by 2020 and 27 % or more by 2030. One important step to achieve this goal is to decrease energy consumption of household appliances.

Energy-saving behaviour

Adjusting the behaviour of consumers to act more consciously and use energy more efficiently is not an easy task.

The most common obstacles are: lack of knowledge of efficiency measures, entrenched routines, short-termism and no desire or motivation to act. To overcome these obstacles, the DOMINO project will implement a focused strategy and give participants customized tips. The setting of specific goals, targeted recommendations, benchmarking, reward and recognition are some tools that can encourage people to save energy.

The recommendations relate to specific household appliances and indicate how they can use energy more efficiently. Participants receive tips via an app specially developed for the DOMINO project. With the app, participants can also leave comments and useful tips and they can share their experiences with others. At the same time, they can monitor how much energy and money they save during the time they use the smart plugs.

Target group

DOMINO targets urban professionals between the age of 28-49 years who own a smartphone or a tablet computer and are tech-savvy. This target group is assumed to be very open to adopting smart plug technology and to have a high number of electric devices at home without necessarily being very aware of energy efficiency issues in their households. They are also excellent multipliers due to their activities in social media and can spread the word about the DOMINO Challenge via these channels. Different profiles and messages have been established in the marketing strategy to reach out to this group in Berlin, Brussels and Naples.

A second target group of the project are multipliers such as energy agencies, NGOs or other organisations that reach out to consumers who seek advice on energy efficiency issues. They will be provided with project information and outcomes throughout and after the project.

Expected results

Within the DOMINO project, 4,000 households will participate in three regions so as to encourage more energy-efficient use of appliances. The goal of the project is to achieve annual energy savings of about 10 % per household.

In addition, it is intended that in the future, participants will make the move towards buying energy-efficient appliances.

But the project also aims at other objects:

  • 24 European energy agencies acquire more knowledge on the potential of Smart Plugs that can steer consumer behaviour and save energy.
  • Selected multipliers within the 3 regions receive Smart Plugs that they may then lend to households in their region so as to continue energy-saving at home.
  • Policy makers at different levels receive useful feedback from the market regarding the usefulness and potential of Smart Plugs to promote behaviour change which can bring that feedback into the design of their policies.
  • Help wider public to better understand a) the ways in which they can adjust their behaviour to live more energy efficient, and b) the use of Smart Plugs.

Smart plugs?

Smart Plugs are placed between an outlet and an electrical appliance. Compared with smart meters, which measure the total household electricity consumption, including washing machines, refrigerators and much more of individual appliances, including washing machines, refrigerators etc. The data collected by the smart plugs for the appliances are then forwarded to an app on a smartphone or tablet, where they are displayed in a clear manner.

DOMINO uses advanced smart plug technology, developed by one of the project partners. The plugs have been used successfully since 2007. The smart plugs are easy to install and can be operated remotely. So users can turn off the lights, even when they are not home.

The communication of the plugs to the app and the database takes place via a stretch, which has the size of a normal router. Thanks to the 128-bit AES encryption, the consumption data of the participants are fully screened, and to ensure their privacy.

The plugs and stretch ourselves are very energy efficient and consume only a fraction of the amount of energy they help you save.

The smart plug kit, which is quite expensive to purchase, free shared with the other participants and is maintained after the project by energy agencies, libraries and other organizations that may lend the smart plugs to consumers who want to gain a better understanding of their energy consumption and want to save energy.


Here you can find a list of publicly available planning and reporting deliverables of the project.