Will the Energy Company manage our Life Dashboard?

Many of societies pressing problems are behavioural problems. Making a city smarter by making the infrastructure smarter, e.g. with smarter buildings or smarter sewage systems will only take us half way in solving these problems. We also need to make the citizens smarter by engaging them and getting them inspired to act. Nudging, the art and science of triggering behavioural change, becomes even more possible in this digital age, where we spend so much of our time “connected and on-line”. When energy companies give clients information about their daily energy usage they significantly reduce their energy consumption, up to 15%, without any other incentive being offered. We, the people, seem to be open to being nudged into new behaviour as witnessed e.g. by the uploading of our personal “quantified self” data to the clouds of the likes of Jawbone in order to improve our physical fitness. Energy companies through smart meters are already gaining significant share of people’s life. What nudges can they co-create with their clients? And how can they become the trusted party to serve as the personal data platform for individual citizens, combining e.g. loyalty, banking, and mobile phone data? Combining these data sources gives a fair picture of a person’s behaviour. With our consent the energy company could develop a Life Dashboard and may even devise Life Coaching strategies to improve our carbon footprint, health and financial situation. What is keeping Energy Companies from doing this? And what is keeping us from welcoming the EnCo*LifeDashboard?