Does Social Conformity Lower Energy Usage?

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You know the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses”? Xcel Energy is flipping that on its head, and wants people to “Go as low as the Joneses.” Some Xcel bills in Denver now compare your energy use to that of your neighbors. The idea is to reward people who are conserving, and to encourage others to do more. Xcel’s testing this in Denver before rolling it out statewide. Barbra Farhar studies this sort of thing as a sustainable energy sociologist. She’s with with CU’s Institute of Behavioral Science. And she joins host Ryan Warner to discuss.

[Photo: Dave Knapik]