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Comparative energy usage

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A couple years ago I made a proposal to our regional utility (BC Hydro) regarding public availability of comparative energy usage information. The idea was that if folk’s energy usage was made viewable to all, then people would feel motivated to reduce their overall energy consumption.
 
Presently, I can view my account information on-line, but nobody else, and nobody else can view my account info. Fine, but why not make my (& everyone’s) energy consumption public information? Why do the utilities keep energy consumption a secret?
 
Idea : A per-utility on-line data-base would make the energy meter readings publicly available. (both electricity & natural-gas). The utilities already have this energy consumption information internally. I’m asking for energy info only, no personal information.
 
I could compare my energy consumption, to my neighbors & see how well I am doing
 
The socially aware (i.e. Jr. high-school social-studies class, who have just watched An Inconvenient Truth), would be all over this. These kids would want to know why House-A uses 300% more energy than House-B (typical energy consumption). They would talk to the owner of House-A, (who may have no idea they use +300%), and I bet the owner would fix the problem. School-kids have that influence!
 
End result : a gradual lowering of typical household energy usage.
 
Of course, individuals could opt-out. But you can bet that everyone would want to know how much energy the Premier of BC uses…. how much energy Al Gore’s house uses.
 
Is this a good idea, or am I just an anarchist?
 
Action : This would require legislation. Most utility companies 1st response would be to hide behind privacy policy, (or simply ignore). But that’s wrong… there is more at stake here.
 
M
post #2 of 5
First thing is that the ACLU would probably be against such a concept as it would point out and 'grass houses' due to their inordinate power consumption from growing lamps. İf not them then some other group such as a far right group worried about individual rights. Then the lawsuits would start and go on forever at extreme expense.

Opt out carries a stigma to it when used in a community wide program and ones name is associated with the option taken. İf it were voluntary it would probably be more acceptable and make more progress.

The Microsoft & Google programs go in this direction for electricity.   

The green power guys would love it as they could target sales of their more expensive power easily. Please note that İ am against individuals buying green power - İ believe the cost should be part of the basic mix. Have the green power but let everyone pay. 

The 'green' option simply allows Gore and crew to use as much as they want while saying how wonderful they are - as in buy your way out. Picking on Gore is not nice as many do it but he is the high profile person and makes a nice target.

İf one of the results was to allow targeting of insulation and appliance upgrade programs it would probably be considered more acceptable.

İt would make a great science project for some kids.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ View Post

First thing is that the ACLU would probably be against such a concept as it would point out and 'grass houses' due to their inordinate power consumption from growing lamps. İf not them then some other group such as a far right group worried about individual rights. Then the lawsuits would start and go on forever at extreme expense.

 


Aha, Here in BC, we have many grow-op houses, which are cultured & maintained by a large international organization of motorcycle enthusiasts. If we want to let these folks run our society, well OK. But I myself prefer more organic gardening methods.

Many modern electronic power-meters come equipped with data-loggers & wireless cel-network cards, so the police already know exactly whose power-usage profile doesn't match the typical family occupied house. You can be certain these are already installed where they are most useful. ACLU & organizations like them may elect to interfere with the information exchange between utility & law-enforcement in criminal investigations. But public enlightenment can shunt that.

Public awareness is powerful stuff. Kids are our future, we can empower them today if we want to.

Sorry, never meant to pick on Al Gore. I'm sure he lives very energy-efficiently. I just think it would be nice to measure my own house's energy usage, against those setting the public example.

M
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is exactly what I am talking about

latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/10/california-embraces-psychology-of-influence-to-reduce-energy-use.html

Fantastic!

Private citizen letters to regional utility commisions do have impact. Write your local utility commission and ask them to consider following the good example set by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District

M. 
post #5 of 5
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