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30/06/2014

"Energy politeness" is convenient

Improving European consumers’ behavioural habits in terms of energy consumption has the potential to make EU save millions of €. In a nutshell, this is the result found by Opower, a company specialised in providing services to utilities. 

The basic idea is simple as it is revolutionary: providing consumers with easy-to-read information about their energy consumption and with personalised tips on how to save energy motivates them to pay more attention to their energy consumption and change their behaviour accordingly. Consumers themselves become real energy sources: they consume less and emit less greenhouse gases. 

Opower has done the math to figure out how much energy would be potentially saveable in Europe (EU-26). In a year, it would be possible to save up to 12 TWh of electricity and 2.34 billion €. Consequently, 3.3 million tonnes of CO2 won’t be realeased into the atmosphere. To get an idea, this is the amount of energy used by Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and the Netherlands each year. The countries with the most energy saving potential are Germany (€ 520 million), the UK (€ 300 million), France (€ 330 million) and Italy (€ 250 million). 

Some overseas experiences already show how this potential can be quickly exploited. There are American utilities that send to their customers bills containing transparent tips to reduce their energy consumption. It is a very effective measure, which produces low-cost, real and long-lasting energy savings, since it induces a profound change in consumers’ behaviour. It also reduces the rebound effect related to the purchase of more efficient technologies, which do not always translate into real energy savings. Last but not least, such a measure contributes to build a trustful relationship between consumers and utilities, which translates into more loyalty.

Opower report can be downloaded in the attachment section (above on the left)