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Posted Wed Feb 3 2010: from USA Today:
Do you use more energy than your neighbors?
More than 1 million U.S. households now receive reports on how their energy consumption compares with their neighbors as utilities encourage conservation, some with smiley faces for those doing well. The reports — deployed by 25 utilities, including six of the 10 biggest — have resulted in households cutting energy use an average of 2 percent to 3 percent, says Alex Laskey, co-founder of Opower, which provides the reports. While that may sound small, the savings add up. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which started sending the reports to 35,000 households in 2008, says the households saved enough energy in a year to power 800 homes for a year. Utilities use different ways to tell consumers where they stand. The Sacramento utility sent its first reports with frown faces for those consuming more energy than their neighbors. "They didn't like it," says project manager Alexandra Crawford. The utility dropped the frowns.
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Mal says: "Yeh! well we got that crap in Australia too.. We all got letters telling us we all use more electricty than our neighbours...Go figure???"

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Americans ... need to be treated special-like.

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