It turns out that peer pressure might not always be such a bad thing after all, particularly when it causes us to act in beneficial ways. With the economy already affecting consumer spending habits, companies are increasingly looking at the ways behavioral economics can be influenced by public transparency and participation.

It turns out that peer pressure might not always be such a bad thing after all, particularly when it causes us to act in beneficial ways. With the economy already affecting consumer spending habits, companies are increasingly looking at the ways behavioral economics can be influenced by public transparency and participation.

We recently wrote about the UK's attempts to encourage its residents into going green by pushing the savings aspect in combination with the less wholesome tactics like neighborly competition and envy, and now it appears a similar effort is underway in Sacramento. The city's Municipal Utility District is in the midst of a trial program created by Positive Energy that includes additional information on its customers' energy bills, comparing their individual usage against their neighbors and the district's most efficient users. The initial findings have shown immediate results, with residents receiving the extra data dropping their consumption an average of 2 percent.

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