Affecting End User Behavior to Achieve Efficiency

This is one of a series of 11 videos in the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center's "Roots of Energy Efficiency" series of forums exploring California's rich past - and promising future - as a global innovator of energy-efficient technologies and policies. Examine how consumer behavior is changing in response to new products and services enabled by smart technologies and what additional measures are needed.

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Comment by Bob Blanchette on May 31, 2012 at 7:19am

OGE: SmartHours

This plan would not be possible w/o the use of smart meters. Explaining to people to reduce use between 2-7pm weekdays is a fairly simple concept that most people can understand. No need to know how the meter works.

Comment by tedkidd on May 30, 2012 at 10:17am

Joseph, awesome!  

Bob, I'm a gear geek, so I love the idea of smart meters.  But they're iPads before home computers.  Confusing the issue.  I see not having them used as excuse for inaction, which means the idea of smart meters actually hampers progress.  

As Joseph nicely documented, the meters we have many not be "smart" but they are very effective.  The idea that what you are using RIGHT NOW is somehow more meaningful than how much you use over the course of day, week, or month, seems to fall right in line with "why do today what you can put off until tomorrow" attitude around energy efficiency.  

The "once we have this next solution the world will turn into Eden" fantasy we humans perpetually project.  Smart meters will be nice, a great tool for fine tuning usage, but we have plenty of great tools already that we AREN'T making effective use of, and need to.  

If you'd never used a PC you'd have little ability to understand the power and shortcomings of an iPad.  If we don't know how to use our existing meters, smart meters don't make us smart.  If you don't know how to read or write, upgrading from a typewriter to a PC is not the answer.  

We need to get people literate, then technological advance is meaningful.  

Comment by Joseph Lamy on May 29, 2012 at 10:37pm

Since my girliefriend snuck out for 5 months, I have shut off the electric water heater. I turn it on for about an hour every week (20 minutes for a warm tank to last a few days )and turned up the fridge temp so the ice cream is soft and easily spooned and milk still lasts a week. I am getting by on 132 kwh a month for an all electric townhome of 1800 sq.ft. No stand-by losses, no phantom stuff, TV is unplugged, computer on only when I need it, lights the same way. Clothes dry on the deck chairs. Smart meter not required, only the circuit breaker and simple living, logic, tank wrap, duh! :)

Comment by Bob Blanchette on May 29, 2012 at 7:55pm

Smartmeters pave the way for time of use and variable peak pricing plans. This can and does benefit many consumers when implemented properly.

Comment by tedkidd on May 29, 2012 at 6:56pm

Set the information free baby!!!  

Most people behave like blind buffoons only when blindfolded. Let them SEE what the neighbors use, and the neighbors that use less will become resources, leaders.  

I really don't use the immediate MPG gauge on my car, I use the average mpg gauge.   Not sure that smart meter's are such a thrilling innovation or a distraction.  Focusing on the wrong direction.  Selling an infrastructure product that currently can't benefit many.  (Hey, Alex Laskey agrees with me!)

We need to be able to compare what we've done in the past, and what others have done, not necessarily see immediately what we are using RIGHT THIS MINUTE.  

Wow, love Minute 30 - Alex Laskey GETS IT!!  Smart meters Ain't It!  Regulators must make utilities act now!  It doesn't require infrastructure replacement, it requires ENGAGEMENT! 

Gene Rodrigues at minute 39!!!  "We don't believe the market has truly expressed an INTELLIGENT preference for the amount of efficiency that's being done, so we are willing to invest in efficiency as a resource."  

"If we wait for the consumer to change the market, the market will never change.  Energy is cheap, why change status quo.  Energy companies exist in synthetic markets, they need incentive and reward to cut use GREATER than incentive and reward to sell more. 

45.15 - YES!! LIBERATE THE DATA!!!  If the utilities can come up with a product, let them, but they don't seem like innovators to me!  

56 - Disaggregation.  That's really cool!!!  Energy audit via the meter.  

Limited attention span, inherent interest, real insight with actionable information, they get change.  

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