One of the biggest challenges in getting consumers to watch their energy spend is that by the time they get their electricity bill, it's already too late. Similar to credit card spend, consumers are less likely to act when their spend total is out of sight, out of mind.
My idea is to develop a service that provides live readings of electricity use that consumers can view directly on their tablet or mobile device. The solution requires both a hardware and a software solution:
-- A simple, arduino-based and Bluetooth-enabled device with an LED light and camera component attached to transmit live readings
-- A tablet/mobile application that consumers can use to 1) view their current electricity use rate, 2) see their accumulated usage to date, and 3) identify patterns and trends across days and weeks.
Live monitoring could have the same impact as energy efficiency indicators in car dashboards had for drivers -- make consumers realize just how much they're using and do something right away to lower their energy usage.