A new online rewards program lets Fayetteville residents easily monitor their home energy and water usage and, in the process, get discounts from local businesses.
The program is part of Eco-Logical Fayetteville – a pilot project that offers a variety of tools and resources to help residents understand and reduce their current environmental footprint. One of those tools is the already popular Earth Aid energy tracking service, but with a local twist.
Earth Aid is a social networking service that tracks home utility usage (think Mint.com for energy) and encourages you to save energy and water by allowing you to compare your usage with your friends and family. Simply link your electric, gas and water accounts to the Earth Aid website and once you begin to consume less energy, you get reward points. Thanks to a collaboration between the city of Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas and a number of other local Eco-Logical Fayetteville partners, you can now begin to redeem those points at local businesses.
Although anyone can sign up for an Earth Aid account and begin tracking their energy usage, it’s the Earth Aid Rewards communities that are the most interesting. Programs that bring in local business partners have recently launched in Washington, D.C., Bethesda, MD, Shreveport, LA and even in Hawaii.
Fayetteville’s program, however, is unique in that it’s the first in the country to include partnerships between the mayor’s office, all the local utility companies, the public school district, the university and local businesses.
SWEPCO is starting off by providing compact fluorescent light bulbs to the first 100 Fayetteville residents who sign up for the program, and all four utilities will be introducing this program to their customers shortly.
The University of Arkansas will be engaging their employees in this effort as well, and any other community group can be involved, helping their members go green while also seeing the collective impact of their efforts.
What is happening here, said David Burd, Vice President of Business Development for Earth Aid, is unprecedented. “This is what efficiency and sustainability will look like in the future and it’s starting right here in Fayetteville.”
To learn more about Eco-Logical Fayetteville, head over to ecologicalcommunities.org. To sign up and begin tracking your utility usage, click on the Get Started button on the Eco-Tools page. To sign your business up as a local rewards partner, contact Connie Benesh from Earth Aid at 803-622-5269.