Doomed to failure

Of course I signed up, since there's no down side.  However, I think it's doomed to failure.

I received the following offer from my natural gas company:

Congratulations! You have been randomly selected to participate in our “SoCalGas Advisory – A Call to Conserve Natural Gas” Pilot Rebate Program this winter. Enroll now and you will receive periodic email notifications through March 31, 2017.    These email notifications will encourage you to conserve natural gas on designated SoCalGas Advisory days. They will include simple energy-saving tips to help you reduce your natural gas usage, such as “lower your thermostat to 68 degrees” and “wash clothes in cold water.”Stay enrolled in these email notifications until the end of the program and you can receive $2.50 for every therm you save on each SoCalGas Advisory day event. At the end of the winter, we will then add up all your savings on SoCalGas Advisory days and you will receive a rebate equal to your total therms saved multiplied by $2.50 per therm.[1]

I imagine that on the coldest days of the winter, when my gas bill is dominated by high heating costs, that I will receive an email asking me to lower my gas consumption. They will then compare my gas consumption on that very cold day to the previous days to see if I was responsive. My guess is that my consumption will indicate that I'm not responsive, because cold weather. Nonetheless, since I might randomly be "responsive" due to a coincidental absence or just luck, I've signed up.  I'll get a whopping $2.50 per therm - I can't wait for the Benjamins to flow in at the end of the program.

This is either an ill-conceived social science experiment or a way for the gas company to claim that they are instituting programs to address predicted gas shortages. "Honest, we even implemented a novel program to conserve, but half of LA still froze to death because we ran out of gas."

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