Putting a (Smiley) Face on Energy Savings
While utilities race to install smart meters, some urge a simpler approach for motivating consumers to use less electricity.
“Most people will become engaged if they find out their neighbors are using half the energy and spending a whole lot less each month,” says Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, lead author of a recent report on “residential feedback programs” from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
The report argues that just a bit of carefully crafted information will prod consumers to save billions in energy bills. Utilities should resist focusing too much on high-profile investments like smart meters, says John A. “Skip” Laitner, director of economic and social analysis for the energy council. “Smart meters in and of themselves are not really smart enough to get the job done for consumers and our economy.”
All across the country, utilities