Keeping up with the “Greens” – Personal Energy Reports

My grandmother’s maiden name was Green and married name was Jones, so I find it funny that “keeping up with the jones'” is so out nowadays. Whether we like it or not, peer pressure causes social change. Society is creating social pressure to be greener than your neighbor.

A friend of mine showed me a “personal energy report” she had gotten the mail from her utility, NW Natural. The idea of analyzing your own energy usage isn’t novel, but I find it really interesting that the utility would compare your energy usage to your own neighbors

As you can see, her energy usage is much better than her neighbors (she’s also single and energy conscious). Note the smiley faces…I’m curious if they are absent or greyed out when you are “more than average”:

They also showed her last year’s usage, and showed how much money she saved, which provides additional incentive to continue saving energy. $1,253 is sure worth it!

With a little searching, I found out that this is a pilot program, and these letters were mailed to 60,000 Portlanders at random. Here’s a quick news clipped where they interview the Energy Trust of Oregon about the pilot. I sure hope it turns into an industry standard!

Does your utility provide a personal energy report?
How do you think you’d compare to your neighbors?

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