Energy Savings Frauds #3 (The lie you tell yourself)

Energy Savings Frauds - #3 - The biggest lie

(The lie you tell yourself)
Publicity photo of Jodie Foster and Christophe...
Wonderful scams as entertainment
 Paper Moon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK today we are going to mix it up - and its a slightly longer post than usual.

Instead of me selling you a lie, and you guessing how the scam works, I am going to explain how the scam works - and you dear reader, have the daunting task of thinking what lies might be sold using this scam.

Hint - if you can establish control over how people manage their decisions, then they are vulnerable.  The key to doing this is allowing them to believe they are in control.

This scam is a variation on the "measurement scam" and frankly it works best (as do many cons) on lazy, greedy people.  

It works by letting the sucker do the selling and the thinking themselves, and lazy, greedy people are very happy to be suckers!

Since all our readers have by definition powerful intelligence on their side (and none are lazy or greedy) , It will be necessary to lull you into a false sense of stupidity!  Please just work with me on this :)  

1962 ... 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
1962 ... 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (Photo credit: x-ray delta one)
For the record, anyone who disagrees with the above - do post about it in the comments, it may make for entertaining reading.

Now, if I said - "You can appear more intelligent by considering what an intelligent person would do - and then by doing that", you might think I was kidding you. Nonsense - or not ? (if you actually think about this before reading on - you are in the minority of the public at large - so I need you to be lazy this time !) ?

On reflection, perhaps if this did not convince you it would make you more intelligent, I might be able to convince you that it will make you "appear" more intelligent.

Now, imagine watching someone considering facts and options, weighing them earnestly, and then decisively declaring conclusions.  Sounds a pretty intelligent way of going about things doesn't it ? - deliberating!

However, deliberating is an internal thing - it has no actual "appearance" , the external furrowed brow, the stroked chin - these are the things of Hollywood - picture Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mocking Bird".  (a must-see if you have not  - and a superb study of acting intelligent)

So, yes, considering what an intelligent person would do "does" make you look like you are doing what an intelligent person does - "thinking".  And - you also give yourself time for thought, reflection, to turn it over in your mind.

Now imagine instead I had said - "It will appear to others that you are more intelligent if instead of making rushed decisions, you give your mind a little time for thought".  This may not appeal to your vanity (we all want to be on the ball or sharp) - but it's hard to argue (again please try below :)

A shell game is performed on a cardboard box w...
A shell game is performed on a cardboard box with bottle caps on Fulton Street in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
OK - so if you accept what I have written, so far (and not as a cheap trick), then you can be persuaded. - And this makes you vulnerable to believing the things you "want to believe" - and when we believe the things we want to believe  we are confident in these thoughts.  - Yes literally a confidence trick !

So selling energy-savings is very much like selling weight loss. There are three targets. People who use too much (food or energy) and know it. People who care what others think. People who would like an easy way to change things about themselves.  Naturally the best target is someone who has all three of these characteristics.  And naturally these characteristics describe 99% of all energy managers. In turn again - ask yourself:

Do we use to much energy ?  - If not why are you here ?
Do we care what people think ? - Brand, image company reputation
Would it be nice to have an easy way to fix it ? - Well doh - (lazy) !

So, pots of gold are far and few between, I have no pixie-dust.  But lets dream.

Before we do - lets measure ourselves - stand on the scales or check our energy consumption.

Here the con bites - it's boring, almost nobody does the job properly and we are shouting "Bring on the pixie dust"
Standard deviation illustration
Standard deviation illustration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BTW - if you have a years energy history with say +/- 30% standard deviation
from forecast consumption at half-hourly resolution - let me be clear - congratulations - you are not normal !

To the dream... - Imagine if you will that by merely thinking about weight and exercise and energy use you could shed pounds ( or kWh ) overnight  - in your sleep perhaps while listening to motivational "bad science" (BS).  What a wonderful world !

Now wake up, and measure yourself carefully every day for a year.  By the way - If you are lazy or not conscientious - don't blame the pixie-dust - you are at fault, But if you do and you find you lose weight (save energy) be proud - slap yourself on the back.

But now snap out of it.  Imagine a million suckers -

70 % quit early and blame themselves - These stay quiet - unless pushed and defensive ("the technology was fine but we had to re-position our strategic priorities") - Some accidentally do see a win at the end of the year and claim it was their diligence !

25 % do try - but because of reading errors before the trial and general inattentiveness, they will unintentionally suffer confirmation bias  so more than half of them see savings ( just like weight loss programs ).

4% Try, fail and wonder what they did wrong.

1% - Are intelligent enough to know their science and their psychology, and are somewhat sceptical - and these deserve the title - Energy Manager

Make sure there are no comments below - wouldn't want to miss out on anything entertaining :)
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