Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Save Energy, Reap Rewards

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If this business, Earth Aid, is actually making money this way, it is a fantastic model. I’m not sure it’s the first program of its kind, as demand side management (DSM) is pretty common, but the greater the variety of incentives to use energy more efficiently, the better. Simply saving money on a utility bill should be sufficient incentive to reduce energy use. Still, if businesses can generate more sales by providing incentives like these to consumers, it has a synergistic effect. Gotta love those market signals.

Posted on Sun, Jan. 17, 2010

By Diane Mastrull

Inquirer Staff Writer

You manuever the controls on your thermostat, hoping for a few more degrees of warmth.

But wait! What if there were a reward for leaving the setting right where it is – or, better yet, for lowering it?

What if putting up with a little chill got you a price break on a butter pound cake split three ways and filled with lemon curd and blackberry and raspberry puree – the hopelessly tantalizing spring torte from Bredenbeck’s Bakery in Chestnut Hill?

Or maybe a $10 coupon for native plants or artisanal goat-milk cheeses at Yellow Springs Farm in Chester Springs? Or a bed-and-breakfast package at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City?

Perks like those are part of a growing list from local businesses hoping to improve their bottom lines by promoting a greener lifestyle.

Rewards for households that recycle are well-known through RecycleBank, which got its start here in 2005.

Now comes what is believed to be a first: a rewards program for saving energy.

Earth Aid, a Washington start-up, enables U.S. residents to track their electric, gas, and water usage online and, by cutting back on it, earn points that can be redeemed at local businesses.

Read the entire article here.