Image via: Ma-Eh on Flickr.com
Do you love to compare your monthly energy savings? Do you have spreadsheets tracking years worth of data showing monthly snapshots of each new energy efficient upgrade you've installed? Well then you're in luck because My Emissions Exchange will pay you when you show them how you lowered your energy bill over the last year. (Even if you don't have spreadsheets, you can still play along).My Emissions Exchange is launching their "My Emissions Exchange Pays Your Electric Bill" Sweepstakes and each week one lucky entry will be chosen and My Emissions Exchange will pay them the equivalent of one months worth of electricity. Starting October 5 and running until November 23, 2009, one winner is chosen each week and no electricity method is ineligible - natural gas, propane, heating oil, or plain old electric bills are all welcome to play.
To play, all you have to do is register on My Emissions Exchange and enter one one of your most recent utility bills (since most bills display a year's worth of data, no need to sort through old, dusty paper files). If you have a hard time entering your data, you can always send or scan your bill to My Emissions Exchange and they can enter the data for you.
Here is where My Emissions Exchange gets a little more tricky and futuristic: My Emissions Exchange keeps track of emission reductions by contacting utilities to verify reductions and then notes the reductions as "credits" on a members account. My Emissions Exchange then keeps track of all of the "credits" and sells them on a voluntary market to companies looking to purchase emissions credits for their environmental no-nos. Members of My Emissions Exchange then get credit in their Paypal account for the carbon credits that they have essentially sold. My Emissions Exchange estimates that members can save $400 on their electricity bills and even earn $70 by selling their "credits."
In the future, you can also earn credits for reducing car usage, and even get credit for reducing the stuff you buy. If you want to get an idea of what green actions are worth, check out the comparison chart on their website. Plus, as the value for credits goes up, you can expect to earn more just for saving more.
While this is certainly a creative idea, and who doesn't like to get paid for being green, there seem to be a lot of questions about "selling" the offsets of individuals. To be honest, homeowners might not do much of anything at all, see a reduction on their bill and then companies get credit. In addition, if an individual changes lightbulbs and a company gets credit, who is to say that the homeowner won't change their lightbulbs back? Is the company still "carbon neutral" if they paid for actions that didn't last? It seems a little risky to allow companies to purchase carbon credits based on a system that can't be verified any more than looking at a utility bill (rather than certifying trees were planted and sustained, or a solar array was installed). :My Emissions Exchange
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