Kill-A-Watt: A Campaign to Increase Energy Efficiency on the Columbia University Campus

Thursday, April 27, 2006

More on incentives...

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that incentive-based encouragement is the only way to get many students to be more energy efficient. I started the semester with a blog about 'students=sloths', and my views on that really have not changed much. In that way, I feel that the housing incentive Kill-A-Watt devised remains true to my personal gut instincts, as well. You can call it a pessimistic view, but I prefer to see it as realistic. This does not mean that I harbor ill will against my fellow un-energy efficient students (I myself am surely one of them in many respects), or that people who aren't energy efficient are "bad people," it simply means that some people need a personal advantage or reward for changing their habits in ways which may at first seem like impediments to your average lifestyle.

By no means am I saying that Kill-A-Watt's housing incentive is the 'be all and end all' (is that the correct phrase?) of energy efficiency incentives. It is simply an example of an incentive, because the college as well as the much broader scope beyond our campus needs to find creative ways to promote and encourage energy efficiency. Relying on good intentions or the ethical pressures of 'saving the earth' one kilawatt at a time is not enough to effect large scale change.

This page has been created and published by a Columbia University student, faculty or staff member as part of course or other requirements. The ideas and information expressed in this publication have not been approved or authorized by Columbia University, and the University shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with its publication. Columbia University is not responsible for the contents of any off-site information referenced herein.