Get Paid to Reduce Your Energy Usage
There are some money-saving ideas that you've no doubt heard a million times. Some of the most oft repeated tips are how to reduce your energy bill. Turn off the lights. Lower the thermostat in the winter. Buy an energy efficient water heater.
Those are all great ideas, but one company is taking it a step further to help motivate us. MyEnergy.com will actually pay you to reduce your energy usage!
MyEnergy has a pretty clever online application that works by linking itself up with your electricity, gas and water accounts. It tracks your monthly usage and rewards you for successfully reducing your usage from the year before. The program then rewards you with points that can later be redeemed for gift cards, discounts, etc.
Once you've created a free account, you'll need to link the application up with you energy/gas/water bills. If you don't have an online account for those bills, you won't be able to use the system. My gas and water payments are paid through the landlord, but I was able to link my electricity account.
It takes a few hours for the system to pull all the relevant information from your accounts, but once it does, you'll be able to see your past usage history for the entire length of your account.
Every month the system calculates the difference in your usage compared to the same month in the previous year and then you're rewarded with points as follows:
- 1 MyEnergy Rewards Point for every 1kWh of electricity saved
- 1 MyEnergy Rewards Point for every 10 cubic feet of gas saved
- 1 MyEnergy Rewards Point for every 20 gallons of water saved
The system also has dozens of tips on how to cut your bill. Use laundry balls. Run your dishwasher at night. Etc.
In just a few months I've already accumulated 746 points. Woot.
My only complaint about MyEnergy is that depending on the state you live, the rewards can kind of suck. In some of the bigger states, where the website is most popular, the rewards are pretty cool. They include gift certificates and big discounts to local retailers.
However, in other states the rewards page will leave you with the same feeling you have after accumulating tickets all day at the Chuckie Cheese. You know the feeling - 1500 tickets and all you get to take home is a Chinese finger trap and a handful of Tootsie Rolls.
Anyhow - the site is definitely worth a look though. The tracking charts are pretty cool and if you've got kids, it might be a great way to visually show them the results of turning off the lights, etc.
As always, let me know what you think below in the comments...
Good luck Penny Hoarders!