Because students don’t see a regular electric bill, they do not have any incentive to use electricity responsibly. All of their energy costs are factored into a flat rate housing cost regardless of the amount of electricity used. Universities, however, are often stuck with high energy bills because students are irresponsible. The students have no idea how much they are using, and therefore do not really care about the cost.
Our app idea is to give students usage statistics on their phone that would be updated as quickly as possible to encourage responsible electricity use. When students reduce their consumption, they would receive points assigned to their account which could be redeemed for whatever reward the student would like. Examples would be a discounted pizza from a local retailer or a buy one get one type of offer. The app could be used by local businesses as a direct marketing tool aimed at students. This individual reward would motivate each student to use less; this would save electricity and money for the university.
The other motivation for students to reduce would be psychological. By displaying rankings at each school, students would be able to see how they are doing compared to their peers. This competitive aspect would allow students to "beat" their friends in monthly competitions.
Using the SmartGrid map on the OpenEI site on the EERE, we will be able to see which areas will have Green Button data available for use. Using Green Button data along with utility prices from OpenIE will allow us to show schools exactly how much money they are saving. Weather will also be a factor when comparing usage from this year to past years to see reductions for students.