Monday, March 12, 2012
Who’s Saving Electricity in Your Neighborhood?
Utilities running small pilot programs for in-home monitors — which provide real-time feedback on energy use and retail for around $120 — have found that use of the device can lead to significant reductions, but only in some homes. And persistence is fragile, too; the novelty of the gadget wears off or the batteries run out, and replacing them is a hassle...To fill the void—and to make a tidy profit—Opower has married high-tech number crunching to low-tech behavioral psychology to produce “home energy reports” that are sent directly (yes, snail) to your mailbox with your electricity bill. Opower algorithms sift through data streams provided by your energy company and compare your monthly electricity use to that of 100 hypothetical “neighbors” — houses similar to yours in size, age, and location. more