FAQ’s

Who is Northern Powergrid?
Northern Powergrid is the electricity distributor responsible for delivering electricity in the Northeast, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire. We move electricity to and from homes and businesses across our network. We don’t sell electricity; neither do we operate power stations. For more information about Northern Powergrid and what we do, visit http://www.northernpowergrid.com

What is Activating Community Engagement (ACE)?
Activating Community Engagement (ACE) is the name of our community project that rewards people for making small changes to how and when they use electricity.

In return for being flexible with their energy use, those involved have the chance to win share of a Northern Powergrid sponsored prize fund for a community group or local good cause of their choice. This could be a local charity, amateur sports clubs, Scout group or something else. Click here to find out more about the types of community groups that can get involved.

What’s in it for me?
There are so many reasons to get involved in the ACE project! In addition to a free smart plug, you could win individual cash prizes, help a local community group win a share of our community prize fund, and you’ll be helping us find new ways to ensure that the electricity networks are fit for the future. Click here to find out more about the benefits of the ACE project.

How do I get involved?
Getting involved in the ACE project is really simple and once you’ve registered, you can win individual prizes and help a local community group or good cause to win a share of a Northern Powergrid sponsored prize fund. Find out how to get involved here.

What if I need extra support?
If you want to take part in the ACE project but would like some extra support getting started, we’re here to help. You can request a visit from one of our ACE ambassadors who will come and talk to your group about the project and all the good reasons to get involved.

Northern Powergrid operates a Priority Services Register that provides assistance to a wide range of customers, including older people, those with a medical condition and parents with young children. If you are registered as a Priority Services customer, or think you should be, you can get extra help getting involved in ACE.  Click here to find out if you’re eligible to join the Priority Services Register or for more information, please call our helpline on 0800 169 29 96.

What is The GenGame?
ACE is powered by a fun online gaming platform called GenGame and GenGame points are earned as soon as the plug is set up and being used to run an appliance. Bonus points are earned if players agree to have their chosen appliances switched off occasionally at certain points in the week. All points are collected in a league table on the GenGame website called the Northern Powergrid SuperLeague.

What do I need to play GenGame?
You’ll need a special smart plug to start playing GenGame. This smart plug is a great piece of technology that allows you to control your own household appliances remotely with the touch of a button via a mobile app.

If you live in the North East, Yorkshire or northern Lincolnshire, you’re eligible for a free smart plug when you sign up to play The GenGame (limited to the first 2000 participants).

What is #GenGameTime?
#GenGameTime is the name given to those times of day when bonus points are available to be won.

What happens at #GenGameTime?
Once you’ve joined and connected up your smart plug, you’ll start earning GenGame points in relation to how much power goes through the plug. At #GenGameTime, we’ll turn the smart plug off remotely to try to reduce your home’s electricity consumption. If you don’t turn the smart plug back on manually (‘override it’), you’ll get the bonus GenGame points. At the end of the #GenGameTime, we’ll turn your plug back on. Remember to check you plug switches back on afterwards so you keep earning points.

How long does #GenGameTime last?
Typically for half an hour, the maximum we’ll turn your smart plug off for is 2 hours. You can always override #GenGameTime by using the app or pressing the button on the front of the smart plug to turn it back on. You just won’t earn as many GenGame points if you do!

How much notice will I get before #GenGameTime?
We’ll always let you know about #GenGameTime by email. This might be a few hours before, or sometimes we’ll turn them off and send the email at the same time. You can always override the plug back on but you’ll lose out on all those bonus points!

What are GenGame Points?
As soon as you start using a household appliance through your smart plug, you start earning GenGame points. This could be a kettle, a TV, a microwave or something else. The more energy the appliance normally consumes, the more points you could be earning.

Bonus points or #GenGameTime points get added to your overall score and the more points you have, the higher up the league table you’ll go and the more chance you’ll have of winning prizes for you or the team you’re supporting.

Can I earn points any other ways?
You bet. We’ll have regular opportunities for you to earn points other ways. We’ll let you know once you start playing – but expect to be rewarded for giving us feedback on surveys, telling us which appliance you’ve plugged into your smart plug, inviting your friends to join or even sharing funny GenGame stories with us.

What is a GenGame ‘SuperLeague’?
When you sign up to the ACE project on the GenGame website you’ll be asked to provide a few details about yourself and if you live in County Durham, you will then be able to choose a community group to support from Northern Powergrid’s SuperLeague. If the community group you want to support is not listed you can always nominate one, click here to find out how that’s done.

Over time, more and more teams will join the Northern Powergrid SuperLeague and all of the overall point scores will be shown in the league standings, kind of like a fantasy football league! The more points you earn, the more chance you and your team have of winning prizes.

Do I have to join a team?
If you live in county Durham, you will be able to choose a community group to support but this isn’t a requirement. As long as you live in Northern Powergrid’s operating region (the North East, Yorkshire or northern Lincolnshire) you will be able to play The GenGame and benefit from the chance to win some great individual prizes.

What is a smart plug?
A smart plug is a clever little gadget that lets you remotely turn electrical appliances on and off from your smartphone or tablet. Some of them will also measure how much power is going through the plug and how much the appliances they are connected are costing to run.

The plug’s app gives you information on how much energy each appliance uses, so you’ll be able to move the plug to another household appliance to find out which tends to use the most electricity.

Which smart plug do I need to play GenGame?
At the moment, the GenGame is only compatible with the ‘WIFIPLUG Power’ smart plug. We decided to make the GenGame compatible with these first because they’re a tried and tested gadget that works with your home WiFi network so you don’t need any other equipment in your home.

Where do I get a ‘WIFIPLUG Power’ smart plug from?
If you live in Northern Powergrid’s operating region (the North East, Yorkshire or northern Lincolnshire), GenGame will supply you with a free smart plug (limited to the first 2000 participants) when you sign up to play The GenGame.

Can I play the GenGame with more than one smart plug?
Yes – we may look to reward the most engaged participants with additional plugs and gadgets as the ACE project progresses. Keep your eyes peeled for more information.

I just got my smart plug – how do I set it up?
It’s really easy to set up your smart plug. Follow the simple instructions  on the GenGame website and if you have any problems, please contact GenGame who will be happy to assist you.

What kind of appliances should I connect my smart plug to?
It’s entirely up to you. You can choose anything in your home that uses electricity and the more it consumes the more points you can earn. One GenGame player plugged his into his hot tub and saw his GenGame points sky rocket!

Remember though, we will switch off your chosen appliance during #GenGame time and you should always double check your appliances have turned back on. For that reason we wouldn’t recommend plugging it into a fridge or freezer with perishable items.

I want to turn my smart plug on during #GenGameTime, can I do that?
You can because you’re always in control – there’s a button on the smart plug that switches it on and off and you can use it to ‘override it’ back on. Or you can use the app. You’ll miss out on all the bonus points you could have earned, though!

How will you protect my data?
Your privacy is incredibly important to us and we’re committed to protecting all of your personal data. Find out more about how we’ll protect your privacy with our terms and conditions here.

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