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課程來源:TED
     

 

Alex Laskey 談行為科學如何減少你的能源支出

Alex Laskey: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Alex Laskey

2013年2月演講,2013年6月在TED 2013上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

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關於這場演講

減少能源支出的有效方法是什麼?你相信嗎:瞭解鄰居的能源支出情況。Alex Laskey以減少能源支出證明,奇妙的人類行為如何使我們成為更棒、更明智的能源使用者。

 

關於Alex Laskey

Alex Laskey藉由數據分析、市場行銷及些許心理學,協助電力公司幫助客戶減少能源開銷。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

協助人們減少家庭用電的有效方法是什麼?讓他們與鄰居做比較。Opower公司創始人兼總裁Alex Laskey協助公共事業公司,在帳單上顯示客戶家庭能源用度與鄰居的比較值-以及贏得這項競爭的方法。聽來似乎可笑,但能源用度顯著減少則是萬分不假的事實。

 

Opower公司與遍及三大洲、80多個公共事業合作,為超過1500萬名客戶提供服務。自從2008年成立以來,Opower公司總共使公共事業客戶節省超過2億美元及2兆瓦小時(TWh)能源-足以供應人口超過25萬的城市用電。這全是藉由行為科學、數據分析及優質行銷之強大組合達成。

 

未來十二個月中,Opower計畫額外節省1兆瓦小時電力,相當於2011年全美太陽能發電廠產量的一半以上。

 

「這項雄心勃勃的策略,部分目標在於將公共事業轉變成以消費者為中心的產業,為人們提供服務,而不僅是提供每月賬單。」

-Steven Overly,《華爾街日報》

 

Alex Laskey的英語網上資料

Website: Opower.com

Twitter: @opower

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Alex Laskey 談行為科學如何減少你的能源支出

 

在座有多少人今天查看過電子郵件?好,請舉手。有多少人現在正在查看?

 

(笑聲)

 

金融帳戶呢?今天有人查看了嗎?信用卡、投資帳戶呢?本週是否查看過?

 

好,家庭能源使用情況呢?今天有人查看過嗎?這星期呢?上星期呢?現場有幾位能源達人,很高興見到你們。但其餘聽眾-這個房間裡擠滿關心地球未來的人;即使我們這些人,對導致氣候變化的能源使用都不甚在意。這位與我合照的女性名叫Harriet,我們於第一次家庭度假活動中與她相遇。Harriet十分關心能源使用情況,但她絕非能源達人。我想分享的是,為何Harriet開始關心能源使用的故事。

 

這是煤炭-地球上最常見的電力來源。這些煤炭蘊藏足夠的能量,可點亮這個燈泡超過一年。但不幸的是,從這裡到這裡,大部分能量因傳導和熱能消耗等因素而流失。事實上,最後只有10 %能量以光能形式呈現,因此這些煤炭僅能維持一個多月的照明。如果你想讓這個燈泡照明一年,需使用這麼多煤炭。壞消息是,每當我們使用一單位能量,即浪費九單位能量;這意味著其中也有好消息。因為每當我們節省一單位能量,即省下其餘九單位能量。因此問題在於,我們如何使現場聽眾及全世界的人開始關心我們所使用的能源,並開始減少能源浪費?

 

答案來自某個行為科學實驗,於十年前一個炎熱的夏天進行。實驗場所離這裡只有90英哩,位於加州聖馬克斯。研究生在某街區的每扇門上貼紙條,請住戶關上空調、使用電扇。四分之一住戶收到的訊息是:「知道嗎?這個夏季你每月可省下54美元,只要關上空調、使用電扇。」另一組收到的是與環保有關的訊息。第三組收到的訊息是:「做個好公民,防止停電。」大多數人預測節省開支的訊息效果最佳,事實上沒有一條訊息起作用。它們對能源消耗情況沒有任何影響,彷彿那些研究生根本不曾造訪。

 

但還有第四條訊息。這條訊息只寫著:「根據調查,你有77 %的鄰居說,他們關上空調、使用電扇。請加入他們的行列;關上空調、使用電扇。」你們猜的到嗎?他們如法炮製。收到這則訊息的人顯著減少了能源消耗,只因得知鄰居的做法。

 

因此,這告訴我們什麼?好,如果某件事令人感到不便,即使我們深信不疑,道德勸說、經濟鼓勵不會使我們產生多少動力。但社會壓力則是十分強大的力量,若正確使用,可成為有益事物的強大力量。確實如此。

 

受到這個觀點的啟發,我和朋友Dan Yates成立一間名叫「Opower」的公司。我們建構軟體,與希望幫助顧客節約能源的公共事業公司合作。我們寄送個人化家庭能源報告,讓人們瞭解他們的能源消耗量,和擁有尺寸相近房屋之鄰居的比較值。如同那些效果絕佳的門上留言;我們讓住戶與鄰居進行比較,然後給他們目標性建議,幫助他們節約能源。我們從紙本開始,發展到手機應用程式、網路、甚至恒溫控制器。過去五年中,我們持續進行世上最大的行為科學實驗。

 

它確實有效。一般住戶及租屋者至今已省下超過2億5千萬美元的能源支出;這只是最初成效。光是今年,我們與遍及六個國家、超過80個公共機構合作。我們正致力於額外節省2兆瓦小時的用電量。

 

好,現場的能源達人瞭解何謂2兆瓦小時,但為了讓其餘聽眾瞭解:2兆瓦小時的能量足以供應聖路易斯及鹽湖城所有家庭超過一年的用電量;2兆瓦小時相當於美國去年太陽能工業產量的一半;2兆瓦小時,以煤炭計算,每分鐘需燃燒相當於34輛手推車的煤炭,持續燃燒一整年,才能產生2兆瓦小時的電力。我們不需要燃燒任何東西;我們只是促使人們關心能源問題,改變他們的行為。

 

但我們只是一家公司,這只是初步嘗試;家用電力有20 %遭到浪費。我所謂的浪費並非指人們使用低效率燈泡;這無傷大雅。我指的是空無一人的房間仍亮著燈,家中空無一人時仍開著空調;這導致每年浪費價值400億美元的電力。這對生活來說不構成影響,卻足以導致氣候變化。400億美元僅是美國每年浪費的電力價值,相當於我國一半的煤炭使用量。

 

現在,值得慶幸的是,一些世上最傑出的材料科學家正在尋找替代煤炭的可持續能源,例如這些(風力發電);這是美妙且必要的。但使我們邁向可持續能源的未來、卻最被忽視的資源並未顯示在這張投影片上。它在這個房間裡;那就是你們和我。我們可以駕馭這種資源,不需使用新型材料科學技術,只需應用行為科學。我們可以從今天開始;我們知道它確實有效,可立即替我們省錢。

 

那我們還等什麼?好,在大部分地區,公共事業的監管自愛迪生以來並無多大改變。公共事業依然獎勵消費者浪費能源;他們應該因幫助消費者節約能源而獲得獎勵。

 

但這個故事不僅是關於家庭能源的使用。以Prius(Toyota生產的油電混合動力車)為例,它的高效能不僅是因為Toyota投入材料科學研發,也因為他們應用了行為科學。駕駛可從儀表板得知即時節約了多少能源,使之前的飆車大王變得更像謹慎的祖母。

 

這讓我們的故事回到Harriet身上。我們於第一次家庭度假活動中與她相遇。她上前來看我的小女兒,很高興知道我女兒也叫Harriet。她問我從事什麼工作,我告訴她我與公共事業機構合作,協助人們節約能源。當時她雙眼瞬間亮了起來。

 

她看著我說:「你正是我想請教的人。你知道,兩星期前,我和丈夫收到一封公共事業機構寄來的信,說我們使用的能源比鄰居多2倍(笑聲)。過去兩個星期中,我們所思考的、討論的、甚至爭論的,全是該怎麼做才能節約能源。我們依照信件的指示一一實行,但我知道必定不只如此。現在,我身邊是一位如假包換的專家。請告訴我,怎麼做才能節約能源?」

 

有太多專家能回答Harriet的問題,我的目標是確保每個人都會提出這個問題。

 

謝謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

What's a proven way to lower your energy costs? Would you believe: learning what your neighbor pays. Alex Laskey shows how a quirk of human behavior can make us all better, wiser energy users, with lower bills to prove it.
 
About the speaker
Alex Laskey helps power companies to help their customers cut down -- using data analysis, marketing and a pinch of psychology.
 
About the transcript
How many of you have checked your email today? Come on, raise your hands. How many of you are checking it right now?
 
(Laughter)
 
And how about finances? Anybody check that today? Credit card, investment account? How about this week?
 
Now, how about your household energy use? Anybody check that today? This week? Last week? A few energy geeks spread out across the room. It's good to see you guys. But the rest of us -- this is a room filled with people who are passionate about the future of this planet, and even we aren't paying attention to the energy use that's driving climate change. The woman in the photo with me is Harriet. We met her on our first family vacation. Harriet's paying attention to her energy use, and she is decidedly not an energy geek. This is the story of how Harriet came to pay attention.
 
This is coal, the most common source of electricity on the planet, and there's enough energy in this coal to light this bulb for more than a year. But unfortunately, between here and here, most of that energy is lost to things like transmission leakage and heat. In fact, only 10 percent ends up as light. So this coal will last a little bit more than a month. If you wanted to light this bulb for a year, you'd need this much coal. The bad news here is that, for every unit of energy we use, we waste nine. That means there's good news, because for every unit of energy we save, we save the other nine. So the question is, how can we get the people in this room and across the globe to start paying attention to the energy we're using, and start wasting less of it?
 
The answer comes from a behavioral science experiment that was run one hot summer, 10 years ago, and only 90 miles from here, in San Marcos, California. Graduate students put signs on every door in a neighborhood, asking people to turn off their air conditioning and turn on their fans. One quarter of the homes received a message that said, did you know you could save 54 dollars a month this summer? Turn off your air conditioning, turn on your fans. Another group got an environmental message. And still a third group got a message about being good citizens, preventing blackouts. Most people guessed that money-saving message would work best of all. In fact, none of these messages worked. They had zero impact on energy consumption. It was as if the grad students hadn't shown up at all.
 
But there was a fourth message, and this message simply said, "When surveyed, 77 percent of your neighbors said that they turned off their air conditioning and turned on their fans. Please join them. Turn off your air conditioning and turn on your fans." And wouldn't you know it, they did. The people who received this message showed a marked decrease in energy consumption simply by being told what their neighbors were doing.
 
So what does this tell us? Well, if something is inconvenient, even if we believe in it, moral suasion, financial incentives, don't do much to move us -- but social pressure, that's powerful stuff. And harnessed correctly, it can be a powerful force for good. In fact, it already is.
 
Inspired by this insight, my friend Dan Yates and I started a company called Opower. We built software and partnered with utility companies who wanted to help their customers save energy. We deliver personalized home energy reports that show people how their consumption compares to their neighbors in similar-sized homes. Just like those effective door hangers, we have people comparing themselves to their neighbors, and then we give everyone targeted recommendations to help them save. We started with paper, we moved to a mobile application, web, and now even a controllable thermostat, and for the last five years we've been running the largest behavioral science experiment in the world.
 
And it's working. Ordinary homeowners and renters have saved more than 250 million dollars on their energy bills, and we're just getting started. This year alone, in partnership with more than 80 utilities in six countries, we're going to generate another two terawatt hours of electricity savings.
 
Now, the energy geeks in the room know two terawatt hours, but for the rest of us, two terawatt hours is more than enough energy to power every home in St. Louis and Salt Lake City combined for more than a year. Two terawatt hours, it's roughly half what the U.S. solar industry produced last year. And two terawatt hours? In terms of coal, we'd need to burn 34 of these wheelbarrows every minute around the clock every day for an entire year to get two terawatt hours of electricity. And we're not burning anything. We're just motivating people to pay attention and change their behavior.
 
But we're just one company, and this is just scratching the surface. Twenty percent of the electricity in homes is wasted, and when I say wasted, I don't mean that people have inefficient lightbulbs. They may. I mean we leave the lights on in empty rooms, and we leave the air conditioning on when nobody's home. That's 40 billion dollars a year wasted on electricity that does not contribute to our well-being but does contribute to climate change. That's 40 billion -- with a B -- every year in the U.S. alone. That's half our coal usage right there.
 
Now thankfully, some of the world's best material scientists are looking to replace coal with sustainable resources like these, and this is both fantastic and essential. But the most overlooked resource to get us to a sustainable energy future, it isn't on this slide. It's in this room. It's you, and it's me. And we can harness this resource with no new material science simply by applying behavioral science. We can do it today, we know it works, and it will save us money right away.
 
So what are we waiting for? Well, in most places, utility regulation hasn't changed much since Thomas Edison. Utilities are still rewarded when their customers waste energy. They ought to be rewarded for helping their customers save it.
 
But this story is much more than about household energy use. Take a look at the Prius. It's efficient not only because Toyota invested in material science but because they invested in behavioral science. The dashboard that shows drivers how much energy they're saving in real time makes former speed demons drive more like cautious grandmothers.
 
Which brings us back to Harriet. We met her on our first family vacation. She came over to meet my young daughter, and she was tickled to learn that my daughter's name is also Harriet. She asked me what I did for a living, and I told her, I work with utilities to help people save energy. It was then that her eyes lit up.
 
She looked at me, and she said, "You're exactly the person I need to talk to. You see, two weeks ago, my husband and I got a letter in the mail from our utility. It told us we were using twice as much energy as our neighbors." (Laughter) "And for the last two weeks, all we can think about, talk about, and even argue about, is what we should be doing to save energy. We did everything that letter told us to do, and still I know there must be more. Now I'm here with a genuine expert. Tell me. What should I do to save energy?"
 
There are many experts who can help answer Harriet's question. My goal is to make sure we are all asking it.
 
Thank you.
 
(Applause)

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