Daniel McCauley

Baltimore, MD, United States

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Daniel McCauley
Posted over 3 years ago
Why has "green consumption" of sustainable products (e.g. Whole Foods, Toyota Prius) not permeated electricity consumption?
I think there is a social element here, it's not just about the 'marketplace' and policy. Think about it; with the organic food movement there is a social element, there is a different vibe in an organic or local foods market, there are those conversations at the farmer's market, and let's not forget that it's better for you and you can feel it. When it comes to clothing, home goods, there is a lot of the same elements, less conversation but it is healthier and you can feel it, but we also move into a sort of public display of our belief system. With cars there are practical reasons that make great sense but they are also moving more into the realm of public display. When hybrids came out they did marginally better than a small ICE from 10-15 years before when cars were smaller yet a new hybrid cost 10 times more, they hardly made sense yet many people bought them. We as humans are inherently social creatures and we care about what people think about us and how we want to be perceived, and electricity, well it's invisible (except for that large array of solar panels on the roof). Switching to a clean energy supplier is a decision that is invisible as well, so there is no social motivator. I've been interested lately in smart meters but I would like to see them somehow tied together or in some way able to provide a comparison metric so people can see how their energy use compares to that of their neighbors, make it competitive and social so that people can know how they are doing. Fair and rational may work for some people but don't overlook our desire to one-up the Jones's.