Austin is widely recognized for it’s live music, laid-back vibes, and barbecue, but recently Austin has been garnering a different kind of attention. TIME recently featured Austin’s Mueller community and Pecan Street Inc., a research group currently conducting one of the nation’s most extensive energy-tracking studies.

In this study, households sign up to have their electricity usage monitored, which allows the researchers at Pecan Street to track which appliances are being used, when they are being used and for how long. Mueller residents also receive incentives for participating in emerging energy efficient technologies such as solar panels and electric cars.

This type of information allows residents, like Dan McAtee, to track their usage and spending.  “Saving the environment is good,” he says. “But financially viable–that’s good too.”

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