How to Make SMART Goals with This Handy Energy Handbook

It’s not easy to change your behavior to become more energy efficient.  People want to make positive changes, but get frustrated and quit when they find it difficult to maintain those new behaviors or when they don’t see immediate results. When you are making your energy-efficiency goals, remember this acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

The MeterGenius Energy Handbook is a wonderful place to start your energy goal-making process.  After you answer some profile questions about your home and how you use energy, you will receive specific tips on how to become more energy efficient.

You will see hundreds of questions about your home and how you use energy.  Each time you answer a question, you earn points and you make our tips smarter for you.  Plus, many of these questions may not be something you normally think about, so just taking time to find the answer may reveal information that even you didn’t know about your home or the way you use energy.  It may be easy to earn a lot of points by quickly answering these questions, but you will get significantly more value over time if you carefully answer these questions. Some of the more difficult questions have advice on how to find the answers.  Our recommendation is to focus on one area of the home at a time and really spend time answering as many questions as you can as well as you can. You do not have to answer all questions, but the more questions you answer the more likely you will find specific tips that help you save a lot of money by helping you change your energy-consuming behaviors.

After you have answered several questions in the Energy Handbook, leave the handbook and navigate to the My Usage page.  Scroll down to the Energy Sandbox. Here you will find a list of tips created specifically for you based on the answers you provided in the Energy Handbook.  By selecting a tip, you can see how much you will likely reduce your electricity bill. This is a great way to see how much you can save by changing each behavior.  You can also use this tool to decide which behaviors to change first. Our recommendation is to pick the tips that will save you the most money first. Completing these tips first will not only save you money faster, but you will also motivate you to make more changes once you see how your bills lower as a result of your changes.

Returning to the SMART goal theory, you can see from the description of the process thus far that the goals we are helping you set are Specific, Achievable, and Relevant to your energy-saving goals.  The reminders you can set in the Energy Handbook achieve the Measurable and Time-Bound aspects of the SMART theory.

Once you have chosen a behavior to change, go back to the Energy Handbook and the specific area of the home where you will make the change.  You will find the ability to set a reminder to change your behavior in the Reminders section. Choose your reminder, then choose the time of day you want to receive your reminder, the method by which you want to receive it (email, text message, or push notification if you have the mobile app), and then choose how long you want to receive the message.  Experts agree that it takes at least two weeks to change a behavior, so the minimum time you can receive the reminders is two weeks. You will receive a message each day at the time you choose, and you will be able to respond with “Yes, I did it” or “No, I didn’t do it”. This will help you measure and track your results over time.

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