The psychology of energy savings: Talking behavioral economics with Alex Laskey and Sendhil Mullainathan

The use of energy is a reality that everyone will need to face, in truth be should have faced up to the reality of diminishing resources decades ago. With new studies, ideas and dialogues around this topic I wonder how long it will take us to get up from the ‘consumerist slumber’ that so many of us find ourselves in. A brilliant talk!

TED Blog

“For the past five years we’ve been running the largest behavioral science experiment in the world,” says Alex Laskey in today’s TED Talk, given at this year’s 2013 conference in Long Beach. “And, it’s working.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1754]Laskey’s company Opower partners with utility companies to deliver personalized home energy reports, all based off the insight that people are more inclined to take action on an issue when they think other people are doing better than they are. People’s energy consumption changes for the better after receiving these reports — either in the mail or through their app and website — and the effects appear to be long-lasting. This year, Laskey says, Opower expects to inspire 2 terawatt hours (TWh) in saved electricity. That’s enough to power a city of more than a quarter million people for a year.

This idea was sparked by a study run a decade ago by Arizona…

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