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As you might guess, some of us at JouleBug are Energy Geeks. We’re excited about the great Intelligent Efficiency Conference in San Francisco next week. It is hosted by ACEEE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, an organization that has been doing great work in this area for a long, long time.

What makes this conference somewhat unique and very exciting for us, is the more than usual focus on the importance of people’s behavior regarding energy efficiency. R. Neal Elliott with ACEE states, “We have identified three manifestations of intelligent efficiency: people-centered, technology-centered and service-oriented.”

There has been a great promise that one day in the future, technology alone will remove almost all the waste from our energy use and supply chain. Sure, we may believe it, but it begs the questions by when and how much will it cost. In the meantime, turning off those switches when you leave your office is immediate and free. We think of these kinds of actions as energy efficiency’s last mile.

Many technologies will be represented at the Conference, not the least of which will be from the Pins_Best Buy_4e7264a9615b320f8b000115building comfort folks, such as Nest and Johnson Controls. What started with Warren Johnson’s “electric telethermoscope” in the late 1800’s, has now evolved to thermostats that are described as smart, learning, self-programming, responsive and beyond. But who teaches these devices? You and I. And our behavior norms may need a bit of modification before we begin our teaching.

Combo-FullscalePeople-centered behavior norms are what JouleBug is all about. Our mobile app nudges, shares, and encourages users to save energy, as well as other sustainable actions. Any community – a city, company, university, school, neighborhood, etc. – can use JouleBug as a tool to strengthen its sustainability voice and influence us all to remember to flip the switch and teach that thermostat a thing or two.

Finally, the biggest highlight of the Conference may be that The Energy Gang will be there with a live podcast focusing on Intelligent Efficiency. What a geekfest! Stay tuned!