Posts by Barry Fischer

Our Thinking

Happy April Fools Day! Celebrate with these 10 energy jokes that are as corny as ethanol.

We take a quick pause from our regular programming to provide some energy-related humor on April Fools Day.

Here are 10 energy jokes of which we hope you will like at least one. Thanks to folks from across the Opower team for contributing these 100% clever, 85% corny, and, believe it or not, mostly original quips.

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Our Thinking

7% of New Zealand’s electricity goes toward making milk. Can behavioral science help farmers skim off energy waste?

Image credit: Redmart.com

The yearly energy bill for New Zealand’s 12,000 dairy farms is anything but skim. They collectively spend $250 billion a year on electricity — representing 7% of the country’s total power consumption.

But according to the New Zealand government, dairy farmers could knock $42 million off that price tag if they were to adopt a few key energy-saving measures — including heat recovery, variable-speed pumping, and vat insulation.

To raise awareness of the opportunity, the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is taking an udderly clever approach. And they’ve based it on a behavioral science strategy that Opower itself has shown to be a highly effective energy-savings motivator: normative comparison.

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Our Thinking

She manages Alaska’s first ever behavioral energy efficiency program. Here’s why she’s passionate about it.

On a per-person basis, Alaska spends more money on energy consumption than any other state. Every year, Alaska’s per-capita expenditure on energy use is a wallet-popping $10,692. But worry not: innovative efforts are underway that are primed to trim that number.

One of Alaska’s leading utilities, Chugach Electric, is helping pave the way. Last year, the member-owned utility launched the state’s first ever behavioral energy efficiency program. In partnership with Opower, Chugach empowered its members with a comprehensive energy insights web portal that helps them better understand their energy consumption and gives them personalized advice on how to use less. The program is funded by the Alaska Energy Authority’s “Biggest State to Biggest Saver” grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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