Efficiency 2.0 Offers Energy Diet Plan with Perks to Consumers

7/7/11Follow @jpruth

Dangling a carrot in front of a stubborn mule might get it to prance, but energy customers can be tougher to motivate. Armed with an incentive program to encourage conservation, Efficiency 2.0 in New York thinks it has the right kind of lure to curb energy waste.

Our reliance on appliances, mobile gadgets, and computers continues to put pressure on the power grid. Creating motivation to change energy habits is central to Efficiency 2.0′s plan. With discount deals from retailers available to be earned, the company brings the appeal of credit card and air travel reward programs to the energy sector.

Founder Tom Scaramellino launched Efficiency 2.0′s personal energy efficiency rewards (PEER) program in 2009 as a way for utilities to coax residential and small business customers to reduce their energy usage. “We do a lot of the same stuff that American Express does with their loyalty program,” he says.

The PEER program asks customers to commit to energy saving habits such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, purchasing showerheads that reduce water flow, and installing solar panels to help power the home.

Scaramellino says PEER operates like a white-label Mint.com—a money management service, but for energy bills. Customers receive e-mail and direct-mail reports that are branded as materials from their utility providers, suggesting ways to better manage their energy usage. “We put folks on an energy savings plan,” he says. The program runs under the auspices … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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