Friday, July 20, 2007

From this week's LEO

Do it for Al
If you could reduce your electricity consumption, lower your monthly expenses, reduce CO2 emissions, and help LG&E avoid building future generating capacity, all while suffering almost no discomfort, would you do it? The magic way to achieve all those goals is to lower your energy consumption during peak hours. For most people, those are when we are at work (during the summer) or asleep (in the winter) anyway. Most people don’t do it, mainly because fidgeting with that thermostat is so darn much trouble!

Now LG&E is going to test the concept on 150 guinea pigs by offering variable rates: higher rates during peak hours, lower rates at other times. Lazy bones who do nothing will see their rates basically unchanged. But the idea rewards those who are willing to reduce consumption during peak hours by daring them to not consume at the higher rate.

The scheme is part of a larger effort by LG&E to reduce peak usage by offering tools to help people do it. Plans also call for programmable thermostats, smart meters and portable energy displays that let masochists see exactly how much they’re spending at any given moment. The company also plans to offer a way for its geekier, attention-deficit customers to adjust their thermostats from their Crackberries, iPhones or Web browsers. To get in on some of this action, visit Or, you know, just get off your butt and adjust your thermostat.

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