Energy Use: Keeping Down with Your Neighbors

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It's widely believed that if you knew how much energy you used every day, you'd be more motivated to cut back. But what if you also knew how much your neighbors used? Would you be even more careful not to hog resources? The city of Sacramento is experimenting with an energy awareness system in the hopes that it will push residents to conserve energy. It's a start-up project by a company called Positive Energy. The Takeaway is joined by the mind behind that company, and a professor of social psychology at Arizona State University, Robert Cialdini.

"When we send them the information that says 'You're doing better than your neighbors,' we put a smiley face emoticon next to the information."
— Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University on encouraging energy conservation