Today in the New York Times, Simple Energy was featured as an app that can help people in California save energy as part of the White House coordinated Green Button initiative. This initiative encourages utilities to make energy consumption data available to consumers so that they can better understand their own usage patterns and adjust their behavior accordingly to reduce their consumption and lower their bills.
“Through its Green Button program, the government hopes to coax all utility companies across the country to collect and produce energy usage data for homeowners in a standard format they can download at any time from a utility’s Web site,” explains Jim Witkin, the author of the article.
“Making this data available to the public would in principle lead private-sector companies to develop technologies like energy management systems and smartphone applications that can interpret and use the information. Homeowners in turn would seek out the applications that enable them to gain greater control over their home energy usage and save money.”
The Simple Energy platform makes this information more easy to understand and motivates people to take action by allowing them to compete with their friends and neighbors to reduce energy consumption. The article describes it as an “online game program that turns energy management into a competition.”
“The company recently began trials of the game, along with Tendril’s energy monitoring device, with 200 residential energy customers in Texas and the San Diego area. Among San Diego Gas & Electric customers who took part in a three-month energy savings contest last fall, the average monthly savings was 20 percent. The winner, called the Biggest Saver, reduced her energy usage by about 45 percent, according to the company, and won a laptop computer.”