Conserving energy in Palo Alto just got personal. On Tuesday, the city announced the beta launch of the Opower “social energy” Facebook app, which aims to promote energy efficiency through friendly competition. The app allows residents to compare their monthly usage with similar households, as well as share tips and tricks for lowering bills.
The concept derives from social science research on human behavior and energy use, the company said in a statement. The NDRC, along with Facebook, partnered with Opower to design the social energy app. The agency estimates that a 1 percent reduction in household energy use across the country would result in a savings of $1.6 billion.