Energy-Saving Incentive: Keeping Up with the Joneses
by Renee Cho, SOLVE CLIMATE, November 2, 2009
This fall, 50,000 Massachusetts power customers are getting their first energy report cards in the mail. Just as in school, they’re being judged against their peers, with the model citizens getting smiley faces and the laggards getting advice for cleaning up their acts.
Until now, these homeowners could only judge their own energy use by their month-to-month bills. The new Home Energy Reports (HERs) compare their energy use to that of neighbors with similar demographics and similar size homes.
Officials hope the peer pressure encourages users to take a few simple steps to stop wasting electricity — and money.
A few utilities that are testing HERs were able to reduce energy consumption up to 3.5 percent over the summer, says Arlington, Va.-based OPOWER (formerly Positive Energy), an energy efficiency software company that designed and delivers HERs for 21 utility companies, including six of the 10 largest in the U.S. [Read rest of article]