Google (PowerMeter) and Microsoft (Hohm) couldn’t successfully launch an application that helped users adopt energy monitoring technology. But Facebook is hoping that their new application, set to launch in 2012, will be adopted and let users monitor their energy consumption while competing with others to reduce electricity bills.
The app will allow users to compare energy consumption results with other homes that are similar to their own and also with what their friends are consuming. This will inevitably spur conversations in profile newsfeeds and generate greater energy conservation by everyone. The data, from supporting utility providers, is automatically imported but can also be manually added if your utility provider is not a participant.
Saving money and doing the greater good of reducing energy usage is a great reason to use an application, but the privacy issues of allowing social media outlets access to your data may be too big of a concern for early adopters. Facebook already faces numerous privacy issues, and granting access to household energy data may be too large a leap for some people. But those that aren’t worried, by gamify-ing and having the opportunity to win big prizes for simply using less energy is a great idea that will not only help user’s gain materialistically and emotionally but also help our planet.