Last October, Facebook announced that their users would soon be able to share more than just pictures and web links with their network: they’ll be able share energy data. Through a partnership with Opower and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), “communities of users will be able to form teams to share tips for improvement and help realize collective goals. Taking a cue from social gaming, the app and its utility partners will also offer rewards and incentives to users who compete in local challenges and reduce their energy footprint”. The success of such an application is hard to determine; however, seeing this kind of effort is very encouraging, and can only lead to greater energy transparency later on.
3) Keep updated with energy topics through social media too.
We all know that when Facebook expanded to applications, they added other features too. Today, with just the click of a “Like” button, you can even add energy news stories and efficiency tips to your Newsfeed. Just by following the Facebook pages of energy groups and companies’, you can find links to up-to-date news on the latest movements in the energy field without ever having to navigate the search of a newspaper site. Try monitoring the page of Energy Efficiency Insights, for starters, or the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Oh, and don’t forget to stay updated by liking our very own SACE page!
On the subject of newsfeeds, why not also “Follow” the energy movement as you do your favorite superstars? Not everyone facebooks and not everyone tweets, but I think that most of our blog readers take part in one or the other. If you’re more active on Twitter than you are on Facebook, the same tips apply. Almost every organization with a Facebook page will likely have a Twitter account, and vice versa. Instead of “liking” these usual energy organizations, try “following” them on your Twitter network and adding them to your Timeline. Again we can easily find the same suspects active here; add @ENERGY to track DOE updates, or add @cleanenergyorg to see what SACE is up to every day.
With all of these options available to you, it would be easy to make efficient energy consumption another resolution for the rest of this year.
The growing popularity of energy awareness is becoming more noticeable every year, and saving energy is almost trendy. More importantly, though: the trend is working. A report issued earlier this month by the Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE) found that the U.S. saved almost 112 Million Megawatt hours (MWh) of energy in 2010, a 21% savings increase from 2009. With IEE having even higher hopes for 2011 energy savings, it’s clear that, though there is still a lot of work to be done, American citizens have already been taking notice of their energy use without these latest technological developments. Imagine what we could do now, if we put them to use!
Though I know we’re into February and you may have made most of your New Year’s resolutions already, it’s never too late to renew your commitment to energy conservation. With the help of these tools – and the promise of many more to come – you should be more than ready to meet any energy goals you set for 2012.
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