On demand Energy Accounting
This is where we are with research at this point. Studying the systems mentioned on the other pages, we come to propose a minor alteration if you will to the Energy Accounting / Resource Based Economy system.
There are different kinds of resources an organization deals with, but most resources:
- Become available at some kind of rate.
- Can either be stockpiled or expire instantly.
The problem with the time component in Energy Accounting has been dealt with in previous research by the use of time periods. For practical reasons it has been suggested that Energy Credits are assigned once monthly and then expire at the end of the month. The problem with this solution is that what time period is chosen vastly affects how the resources are percieved and spent: If the time period is long, people care not to expend too many in order for enough to be available for later, if the time period is short the equal share of resources is reset so quickly, that individual decisions of power conservation have no effect on one's ballance.
Instead of dealing with these issues, we recommend using a measure of income rate, rather than a fluctuating balance. At any one time, a person will get their share of the income rate for the particular resource. The rate can then be spent if the usage rate is lower or equal to the amount available. If no resources are spent, they either stockpile if possible or expire instantly.
Furthermore, when observing how these systems behave in real life, we've also noticed the problem of idle membership: If someone is a part of an organization that uses Energy Accounting, they are given a share of it's resources. If however this person chooses not to be active within the community and does not dedicate his resources to any particular item, his share is locked and cannot be spent by the others. This creates a problem as many of the organizations we have worked with have only a handful of active members at any one time. This would lock the majortiy of the group resources at all times and prevent activity of any kind.
This is where the "on demand" element of what we suggest comes in: We recommend that the system be implemented in such a way, that unless a member explicitly reserves their share of the resource in question, the amount of a resource available is distributed amongst only those who choose to utilize it at the time.
The thing with Energy Accounting and the monthly distribution of Credits is that it was conceptualized at a time before Smart Grids existed and nobody expected that it would be possible for machines to automatically agree on how to divide available resources in real time. It was seen as something that had to be updated monthly, when this is now no longer the case.
Still, the research we are doing on this concepts continues. I will update this page with whatever conclusions we come to.