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Facebook Brings Home Energy Efficiency to Social Networking

If you have a Facebook account, you can check up on your friends and see what they’’re doing. Now you’ll be able to compete with your friends to see who’s saving the most energy.

Starting early next year, Facebook’s Green page will host a “social energy” application designed to raise awareness of energy consumption and energy efficiency. The app was developed under a partnership between Facebook; Opower, a software and analytics company that helps utilities interact with customers; and the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council.

The app will let Facebook users compare their energy use to the national average and to other users who participate. Users input their electric utility information manually, in either dollars or kilowatt-hours, to build an energy profile. At least one Chicago electric utility has signed up with Facebook and Opower to import customers’ electricity information directly into the app (with customers’ permission) when the app launches.

According to Opower, which operates customer-engagement software for 60 public utilities, one-on-one comparisons with neighbors and word-of-mouth energy efficiency recommendations are effective in promoting energy efficiency and raising awareness about energy consumption and energy efficiency issues.

Sources

“Facebook ‘Social Energy’ App Compares Home Efficiency,” CNET, Oct. 17, 2011.

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