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Friday, February 11, 2011

The PC police get up even closer in your face

Now they're going to send you a "report card" on how your neighbors are using less energy than you.

We have two words for these people, and they aren't "go green." They make us want to crank everything up and burn more, just to spite them.

Comments (41)

It's an interesting social psychology tactic. As it is, presenting the little bar graph of the last year's history does significantly reduce energy consumption.

However, in previous trials of this particular strategy in other cities, there is a perverse effect... those people who are generally more green will significantly reduce consumption when they can compare with their neighbors.

But those people who don't really care, will regress to the mean... that is to say, if they are lower than their neighbors, then they may increase expenditure as the comparison gives them "cover".

In any case, it's a great idea, particularly if, as I assume, they are doing this as an experiment and testing for significance.

Our household received one of these two page audits. My view is that they are a waste of money. All it did was fuel my arrogance about our low energy consumption.

Now if they had a bounty on turning my neighbors in for burning inside lights in several rooms of the house all night long (the kids must have night terrors); the other neighbors who leave their kitchen window wide open all winter long so they can listen to their lame water feature, while the steam rises from the b-vent on their furnace.......

The HEAT program is having funding cuts and the Energy Trust is wasting money on this.

It's more of the same vigilante type BS that's becoming prevalent in our nanny culture. Just like the tree trimming and cutting issue, where the city says it will not be able to effectively monitor actions, so they will depend on neighborhood surveillance and reporting. It sends goose bumps up the crooked spines of "neighborhood activists."

"ABNER!! Abner look! The neighbor's cutting a tree limb that's at least 3/4 of an inch thick!! We have to report them!! And they left a light on in the bathroom!! ABNER!! ABNER!!"

Temperance 2011 is next.

Ahh, the good ol green police.

We have two words for these people, and they aren't "go green."

We have three words for them, starting with "go" and ending with "yourself".

What is next then?

Sending an extra fee if "one" should exceed the norm?

Neighbors "snitching" on each other.

This feels like a scarf put around our necks, first it feels OK like it is a good thing, but then watch out, the tightening of it isn't good at all!!

"Oceania is at war with Eastasia and we've always been at war with Eastasia."

A bounty for turning your neighbors in? For what exactly? It would really be none of your business, but hey, feel free to come to my door in the middle of the night and ask me to turn off my hall light. We'll see how that goes.

...first it feels OK like it is a good thing,...

Just want to add, for many it may feel like it is a good thing. As for myself, alarm bells went off, as I was not raised under this kind of control. This must be a part of those smart meters being installed.

Brian --one word sarcasm.

JS: love this commercial....just this week went out and bought a 24 pack of incandescent flood lights for the kitchen. Cost was around $1 each. After 8 years the first two went. No to CFL's in this house. Getting on in age and do not want to handle the hazardous waste.

i eagerly await the list of shame which will show who the highest energy users are on my block.

The World has moved on.

Keep Portland weird through forced conformity!

I like how in the article they talk about "competition" when it could just as easily be considered shaming people into action that they aren't compelled to.

"i eagerly await the list of shame which will show who the highest energy users are on my block."

(I think you're kidding, but...)

Probably people who work at home (like me), avoiding the energy expenditures of two climate-controlled habitats, and fossil fuel consumption from commuting. So bite me.

"Now they're going to send you a "report card"

Just wait until they get cranking with the smart meters. Then they can track you day/night.

I got one of these for my gas bill and they were interesting, but had some of the numbers wrong.

Probably people who work at home (like me), avoiding the energy expenditures of two climate-controlled habitats, and fossil fuel consumption from commuting. So bite me.

There's a tax coming - you know it.

Folks like you (and me) will have to file a 20 page "opt-out" request, accompanied by a $150 non-refundable (or sustainable) application fee.

Just you watch.

I need an energy-efficient recipe for torches - I've got a pitchfork.

The letter that was featured in the video didn't seem to provide any kind of context for making a meaningful comparison between households.

For instance, are they taking things like square footage, number of residents, type of heating, etc. into consideration? If they're not I really don't see how these numbers are any indication of how energy efficient you are.

Of course the young couple, with no children, featured in the video use less energy than their neighbors that have large families, especially those who are at home with kids during the day.

In the old days brown shirts and shiny boots, or red neckerchiefs would've been what's next. Green armbands?

We'll see. AG with a blind eye, too much kool-aid down at City Hall, Congressman funnels earmarks to pay for it, we'll see.

Afterthough: basement pot farmers are going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Afterthough: basement pot farmers are going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Selective enforcement, Grump, selective enforcement.

Why is any of Sam's business how much energy we use?

Or does he still believe Al Gore's lies about CO2?


This reminds me of the water waster’s article the Oregonian used to print. They had a half page spread of the top 10 residential water users in the city. Maybe if I fire up my ceramic kiln 24/7 I can get my fifteen minutes of fame.

Jimkarlock, I don't remember reading where Sammy got hired as the ceo of pge or nw natural. Nice try.

I guess I can be thankful that I own the smallest home on the block, don't have a hot tub like everyone else, and work during the day (unlike several of my neighbors) so my electric usage is lower.

OR...those with the larger homes can be proud of their usage.

Working at a power company, I love talking to people who give me the "my home is exactly like the one next door!" Uh huh...sure it is. (And yes, I sometimes do use Google Earth to verify it.)

I love the smell of green backlash in the afternoon.

We work from home so our electric usage might be higher. However, it is just one part of the energy picture. We don't commute, we walk to do most all of our errands, and we don't fly. So, how big is our energy footprint compared to others? Isn't the whole picture more valuable than just one piece?

Jimkarlock, I don't remember reading where Sammy got hired as the ceo of pge or nw natural. Nice try.

More importantly, why does the utility want to even bother or spend the resources doing this? It's not really their job to discourage people from using their product. Where'd this come from?

I got the personal version with no neighbors. Called and opted out. Told them I would rather thay spend the money on reducing rates. It is interesting to note that I cannot call and get usage history on my rental propery because the account is not in my name, but they have no qualms about violating my tenants privacy. Maybe its for the children. Go by streetcar!

Home is office and lab; lots of extra power consumption due to work tools here. Don't drive to office, except on rare occasions.

In the grand scheme of things, why does comparing me to my neighbor's use even matter?

On the other hand, seeing my usage over the past year is useful; let's me know if things are out of kilter. Same goes for water usage - enables discovery of "leaks" in the sprinkler system feeder line like I had a few years back. It was an expensive summer!

Too many busy bodies.

I cannot call and get usage history on my rental propery because the account is not in my name

At least at my power company, we'll give a 12 month high/low/average.

But you're correct, we won't give more detailed info than that. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that this mailing is permitted if it is giving out actual data on another home.

JimmyMac, Mayor Sam does have something to do with this through EnergyTrust. CoP is a strong proponent and taxpayers help fund EnergyTrust. It's time to complain to Sam and EnergyTrust about this invasion. Plus, I think it will be found to be illegal.

I met to add that our Portland taxes have gone to EnergyTrust that is participating in this program, besides state tax dollars and fed dollars.

Time to design the new uniforms for the Green Police.
Will they be checking on what sort and how many vehicles, garden tools, and appliances people have too?
This is just too invasive.
Fortunately we do not live in Portland and where we do live such inquirIes might be met with the business end of a gun, though not from us.

I love the hydrocarbon sniffing aardvark that cameos at 0:42 in the clip.
Probably people who work at home (like me), avoiding . . . . . . . So bite me.

Lifer, you seem to be a little sensitive. and a smidge too independent minded for the brave new sustainable Portlandia. A few months of 'volunteering' at the community gardens may encourage you to be a team player. Power for people -- not for profit!

Concord, I'm not sensitive. Just aware and not afraid to be blunt.

I'm pretty sure your response is meant to be ironic. But it does allow an opportunity to address a few issues and make some statements directed at those who would respond as you have done, but with real conviction.

You've comprised an opinion of who I am and what I do - or don't do - based on my simple reaction to monitoring and making public an individual's energy consumption. My reaction to this and the alarming number of ways in which our government is eroding our individual freedom, privacy and independence is as follows:

Mind your own f*cking business.

I am independent. And as a result I've been relatively successful. Dependence inhibits development and leads to entitlement, based not on what you have worked for or contributed to the world, but just because you exist. Great motivation...

But the final suggestion that I do some volunteering really takes the cake. How have you determined what I have or have not done in terms of volunteering, gifting, assisting, instructing, hiring, mentoring, listening, etc., in my five decades of life in Portland? This illustrates exactly what I mean. You have judged me and created a complete image of me based on the simple comment I made above. Just as an energy consumption report would appear to fully illustrate whether an individual property owner is a good guy or a bad guy. Again:

Mind your own f*cking business.

Ironically, most people who volunteer and make a habit of assisting others as much as they can, do so not for recognition, but for the sake of helping make someone's world a little better. The grandstanding that's made these days by so many who conduct their lives in what they consider to be a more enlightened and altruistic fashion is nauseating. While their actions are good, their self-aggrandizement undermines them.

Again Concord, this isn't directed at you (maybe?), but to those who seriously would take the view you express. But as a third-generation Portlander, I can assure you that independence is what made this and other great communities what they are. The social engineering experiment known as "Portlandia" will fail. And we know this is not just a local phenomenon, but one that is being played out across the country. Do a little online investigation of "Smart Growth," and don't be afraid to look into "UN Agenda 21."

Anyway, it's Saturday and I have to get back to work before preparing dinner for my two elderly neighbors. Oops, I guess I must have let that slip accidentally.

PDXLifer, well stated. As you suspect, I think Concord was just being a snark. But that just goes to show how being snarking can even help define an issue. Thanks.

Oops, I forgot to forget. I have to get back to making my salsa for my neighbor who loves it, she just lost her 93 year old husband. Please notify the Volunteer Police for me because I can't hack it.

Terrible idea. I'm gonna be pissed if I get one of these things.

lw, thanks. I'd love the recipe for your salsa.


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