Environmental Footprint Manager (EFM)
EFM will bridge a gap between the technology age and environmental responsibility, enabling an individual to become aware of his own consumption and encouraging him to maximize efficiency. A software program to be packaged with newly purchased Windows and Macintosh based operating systems, EFM would be developed in coordination with a search engine, such as Google, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The program will track monthly bills and other information to provide a sustainability ranking, educate a user on improvements, and facilitate cost-saving efforts, in turn promoting awareness of the rising costs, both economical and environmental, of use of the world’s nonrenewable resources.
Given basic, one-time user-entered information, through integration with EIA, EFM might inform John Smith that his 3-bedroom, 2,000 square foot home consumes the national average of 938 kWh monthly and that his monthly $88.60 utility bill in Anywhere, USA is at exactly the national average. Further, EFM will encourage users to strive beyond average for the top 15th percentile, continuously raising the sustainable bar. Mr. Smith’s bills, recorded monthly, allow him to constantly observe his sustainability ranking. Links to activate specialized searches may provide simple energy efficiency strategies or more in-depth initiatives.
A dynamic ‘breathing house’ icon will be visible on the tool bar, where time and date are displayed. With minimal distraction, a less efficient home will appear to ‘breathe’ more heavily and will offer ‘pop-up’ suggestions more often, though not at a disturbing rate.
EFM will track electricity, water, garbage, and gas, and expandable capabilities would include tracking fuel usage. Future development could integrate with bill-pay software or online banking or billing systems and could become expanded to include commercial versions.
*Supporting data, or variations thereof, obtained from the Energy Information Administration.
** Google is a registered trademark.