THE FACEBOOK OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Can Social Networks Lead to Energy Efficiency?
Marc Marton, February 22, 2011 (McDonnell Group)
"We’ve seen once again the power of social media as witnessed by recent events in Egypt…[where] Facebook is credited with fomenting a popular uprising that toppled a government.
"Social media has obviously grown from its origins as the domain of the mundane, providing millions of people with a platform to share common interests no matter where they are…[Years ago, a college student] raised millions of dollars in a matter of months to aid Darfur by connecting [via Facebook] with students at other campuses across the country. Other causes have followed suit and businesses have embraced social media…"
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"…Welectricity…[and similar] free services like Earth Aid and commercial entities OPower, Silver Springs Networks, Tendril and eMeter, hope to leverage online communities that help users collaboratively reduce energy consumption. There appears to be support for the idea that social networks can get more consumers engaged in energy usage and create a more efficient grid. Indeed, Welectricity gained recognition in GE’s Ecomagination Challenge as “Best Idea for the Millennial.”
"Given the current public rumblings over smart meter deployments as a privacy issue, it will be interesting to see if people embrace the idea of sharing electricity usage among neighbors or complete strangers, who would otherwise be suspicious of utilities extracting data from their consumption patterns."