Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Psychology of Conservation

Imagine two scenarios.

In the first, your electric company charges you a premium rate for power when demand is highest - typically on a super-hot summer afternoon when air conditioners everywhere are churning out cold air.

In the second, the utility gives you a refund for not consuming electricity during those peak-demand hours.

Which one would you be more likely to accept?

This is the question being asked by Robert Letzler, as reported in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and its a fascinating one.

What do you think would be more motivational? How do you think this sort of approach could be used to influence how we deal with the task of encouraging people to be more responsible in their consumption habits?

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