Dear Prime Minister Harper, Please Watch This Now

Whatever your feelings about Bill Gates and Microsoft, you have to admit that the dude is smart.  This is a long clip at ~30 minutes, but the meat is all in the first 20.  It’s about the need to develop new electricity production NOW, and how a new nuclear technology looks like a good bet.

Throwing a bone to the Marketing angle, Bill does a great job of presenting PhD-level concepts at an undergraduate pace:  he preserves the academic authority but illustrates it in a joe-average way.  Know your audience.

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Customer Feedback Works

Look at your electricity bill.  Now look at mine.  Mine looks different, no?  Sadly, many utilities across the continent have not cottoned on to the idea that simply telling  their customers about their consumption habits, is a GREAT way to motivate desirable behaviours. 

My bill includes a simple graphic that compares last year’s monthly usage of kiloWatt-hours with this year’s.

Here I have enlarged the pertinent section:

As you can see, I have used a bunch less juice in 2010.  What changed?  Well, I invested about 20 bucks in a programmable thermostat last fall.  Since our house is heated by hydro, that alone was enough to save us about 1000 kWhs per month through the coldest part of the winter.  I figure that little gadget’s ROI is about 20:1, and climbing.  It paid for itself by December 15th.  (Never mind that we had a mild winter compared to 2009 – the facts should never stand in the way of a good story.)

Why don’t more companies do this sort of thing?  It would be especially easy in Web 2.0ville.

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Well, since it’s not from Nigeria, and it IS my surname, it’s got to be real, right?