One of my favorite quotes in life that I’m constantly returning to is the one from Theodore Roosevelt in which he says, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s easy for us to look at our energy costs and think, “Well, it could be worse – look at my neighbor!” however it’s much harder for us to hold ourselves personally accountable, and even harder when that accountability is for the sake of the collective good versus an individual.
The problem with this of course, is that our needle is always moving. If we compare ourselves to neighbor A one day, and then neighbor A decides to purchase an inflatable bouncy castle that runs all-day, every-day (for example), then our perception of our own good energy management will change ever so slightly – you’ll still likely be better off than neighbor A, but you might start to ease up on your personal energy consumption and production goals because, neighbor A has eased up on theirs, and by default you have a little more “wiggle room.”
This article was written not to suggest that we should all be living in dimly-lit caves to save energy – though if you do, thank you for your sacrifice for the collective good – but to start to really look at our energy consumption on a personal level and ask, how could it be improved? Where can I save money? And, notably, will my actions even make a difference?
This week, we’ll explore some of the psychology and data in the energy sector, and what we can do to break some of those bad habits as we work to mitigate our own energy costs together.