About Aris Kapsanakis
Coming from Greece, and living in beautiful Hertfordshire. Sometimes, I have some good ideas.
Much as building design and energy efficiency improve, it is clear that these improvements will be wasted if people's attitudes towards energy usage do not improve accordingly.
In this case I have to ask myself: what drives people?
Looking around at my environment I see one great motivator, and that is competition.
Here's my idea then:
Let's focus on communities, and form a league; much like fantasy football. Prepare a website that presents individual houses (it doesn't have to be every house in the community, just a substantial number) in a list, giving some features of each (size, materials, energy-efficiency classification, etc.). Then each member of the community can form a "team" with their choice of -say 5- individual houses.
Let's then monitor the energy usage of each house in a predefined period. This defines the performance of the team. Additional fantasy-league elements can be adopted, too. The team with the lowest aggregate energy consumption over this period is the winner. The prize to the winner -and the winning houses- can be anything from money to energy-efficiency upgrade to their house.
An important element of this is that it needs to be publicised outside the players. The winning combination should be viewed as role model, identifying the ways in which they reduced their energy consumption, and the lessons other households can gain from them.
This way not only do you intrigue and involve members of the community in the topic energy reduction, but you also make the community interested in taking active measures to lower their energy usage to win the league, gaining an award but also recognition.
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