Residents of the southern Minnesota city of Owatonna are playing keeping up with the Joneses...on their electric bills.
Owatonna is the fourth city in the United States to send its ratepayers something called a Conserve and Save Home Energy Use report with each gas, water and electric bill. The report not only shows how much energy the residence uses, but includes charts that compare the usage to the previous year and how the residence compares with the energy usage of 100 neighbors with the same sized home.
Sacramento was first city to test these "behavior reports" as a way to encourage energy efficiency. The city deemed the program "very successful" compared to other efforts to encourage efficiency and Owatonna is starting to see residents make changes too: Requests for home energy audits and meters that track appliances' energy use are both up.
via Fresh Energy and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. The home energy reports were developed by Positive Energy of Arlington, VA.