At home we are motivated to switch lights off and save energy, because doing so lowers our bills. We reap benefits by being frugal with resources for which we pay. In contrast, we are not rewarded for conserving energy in places where we do not pay the bills. Consequently, we waste more energy at work and at school than we do at home.
Common pool resources, such as electricity and water on a college campus, benefit individual recipients. Their costs accrue to the group at large. Such resources suffer from the tragedy of the commons. Individuals use them less efficiently and more wastefully than in cases where resource use and cost are closely coupled.
To overcome this tragedy of the commons, SMART proposes to implement reward systems that motivate individuals to save electricity and other community resources. We envision monitoring resource use by units within larger communities, identifying individuals and groups responsible for any reduced use, and rewarding them with the subsequent cost savings. In short, we propose to turn energy savings into personal rewards for those saving them.
|Updated: 3 November, 2009|
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