The Indianapolis Energy Report arrived yesterday in my mailbox. Did you get yours? The last one that came drove my curiosity about what it was they were trying to tell me because their numbers made no sense to me what-so-ever.
The report tells me that I use more energy than 100% of my neighbors, costing me 88% more or 161.16 more a month than my average neighbor pays. That would be pretty impressive dropping my total electric bill for my heat, air conditioning, water heater, lights for a family of 3 including a teenage girl, to less than 40.00/month on average! My neighbors must be amazing.
When I talked to a few neighbors they too were all the worst energy hogs as well. So I talked to others from work and friends and guess what? Everyone I know is an over achieving energy hog! This made me more curious and I checked into it further and learned that IPL was just one client of the company that does these energy reports in the utilities name. The company making the report is OPower a company that formed in 2007. So, utility companies all across America "hire" OPower to try to convince their customers to use less of the product the utility is selling.
Opower is one of the true success stories during this economy, they are skyrocketing in growth. It is pretty impressive that a small start up can line up dozens of huge utility companies in just a handful of years, it makes me wonder if the Government EPA requires these services, how about you?
The more I read on the company, their founders, the more questions I had about this report showing up in all our mailboxes. However when I learned about their Chief Scientist things started to clear up. What would you assume that Dr. Robert Cialdini would be an expert in? Since this is about energy savings and energy efficiency, wouldn't you guess that it would be involved somewhere in the energy, or heating or cooling specialities? You would guess wrong, Dr. Cialdini, is a leading expert on group manipulation and compliance psychology? Did you get that? I have to admit I missed it on my first guess. Why would their top scientist be someone to create mass compliance? Does this creep you out?
Would it be a stretch to believe that we are being manipulated? Does it seem a stretch to believe that you and I are paying extra in our utility bills to pay for this "service?" If it is all nonsense and everyone is being told we are the worst to guilt us into using less energy, what value is this service. One of my neighbors was rated the worst, but their house was sitting empty for three months with all utilities turned off and it was still an energy hog, hmmm?