Whether you come at it from an energy gap/ cost or a carbon standpoint there’s no doubt that we all need to live more frugally.
There’s a great deal of hardware and software available** to help us do it but there’s also a major missing factor – motivation.
So we need tools to address this by information and educating and in addition we must have the means to motivate people to actually do something.
Some ideas (for which team members needed):
1. See thedonation.com giving energy saving a charity slant (Hermione sent something out already)
2. Explore the house – like King County’s eco-Remodel tool. This is rather US-centric but the idea could be adapted and developed.
3. “Find the Watt” game for kids. Win rewards for finding out what each energy-consuming device in the house uses and getting close to the overall measurement (can be done with an OWL or CurrentCost monitor). How can this be made more fun?
4. Wattopoly/ Cluedowatt – combining ideas from well-loved board games with exploration of the domestic energy landscape. (Could be a global version based on Risk/ Carmen San Diego.)
5. What could be done on a smartphone that’s more interesting than showing readings and charts?
Some other ideas (hardware involved see last post):
a. Low-cost heating control/ smart thermostat. Would compensate for varying weather conditions so the boiler would fire at at exactly yet right time. Could be also based on the new bridge board. Possible in a weekend I think. External temperature sensor. Use BBStandby as timer for boiler. Online control panel/ smartphone app to manage settings and override.
b. Reproducible version of low-cost energy monitor with automatic posting to an online data store. Could be also based on currentcost or adapted from the bridge board. Probably not a weekend project.
If anyone wants to team up an anything please let me know.
** Google Powermeter, M$ Hohm, Pachube etc. See also, the idea posted by @floppy.