Have you ever wondered how much electricity you consume compared to others? Probably not, but when playing with the google map api I thought about something that could help reduce collectively our electricity consumption. I don’t remember where I’ve read this, but humans are social creatures and want to be like their peers and if you’re a type A personality you’re probably pretty competitive and want to be the best you can. Imagine then if your electricity consumption was there for everyone to see. You would have an incentive to reduce your consumption to be at least like the rest of your neighborhood to fit in and not be labeled as an energy waster. And if you want to be shown as a true environmentalist, you would want to be among the lowest electricity users.
How can we create something that does that?
With a map api (Google map api or something like it will do fine) and access to your county electricity data. Some counties give the data down by the house, in some cases you need to login to your electricity company to see it, others you only get it by county. The base case scenario is to work directly with your company or state to have access to this. If there is a concern about privacy, only show you compared to the average. Which houses are above or lower average, perhaps color grade houses with a degree of green to red, to see the best average saver to the worst.
You probably get that this project doesn’t have a money incentive. It’s mostly to help people realize how much they use electricity and use herd mentality to make them reduce their consumption. And in some cases electricity is directly correlated to CO2 production if it comes from a coal powered plant, which means there is a climate incentive too. Perhaps partner with local government or electricity companies could do a giveaway to all household who participate, give something for those who use less than a certain % of the neighborhood and send a friendly memo to those who exceed a certain threshold they can probably do better.