Thursday, February 19, 2009

Keeping up with the Joneses (in kilowatts)

Sure, it's probably instinctive to compare your lawn to your neighbor's. Or the condition of the paint on your house. But can the average american's desire to pwn their neighbors translate into motivation to improve their carbon footprint? Counties with serious energy issues, like Sacramento, are hoping so, and are turning to Arlington's Positive Energy to help.

Positive Energy crunches information from a number of data streams (demographic, weather & housing data, utility records, customer behavior) and creates clear benchmarks that mirror each customer's geographic/demographic factors. The customer then receives a report that compares their actual monthly usage to the monthly usage of the "average" neighbor, and "efficient" neighbors. For those of us who thrive on positive feedback, there's even a smiley face rating scale for conservative usage.

Results so far have been positive, with Sacramento reporting a 2% efficiency improvement in customers who received these custom reports. Everyone wins in this equation, so expect this trend to continue.

My last electric bill came today, btw, and it's out of control. Shooting for a smiley face next month.

UPDATE 03/19/09

Got last month's electricity bill today, and it was approx. 40% lower. Obsessively unplugging
appliances seems to have worked. Smiley face for me.

1 comment:

  1. A smiley face don't pay no bills. My motivation to reduce my electric bill is primarily a financial one!