Company Entices Customers to Save Water, Energy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Company Entices Customers to Save Water, Energy

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Dana Ullman watches his water use inside his home and out. And it's paying off.

"This month --- I got $25."

Back in November, he signed up with Meterhero, a Bay Area start-up that "pays" people who cut back on their water....and energy use...  

"It's gotten us all a little more conscientious about this."

And Meterhero founder McGee Young says that's the company's goal. "Everyone thinks that it's somebody else's responsibility to solve the water crisis -- and in reality it's all our responsibility."

So Meterhero hopes to provide an incentive by offering refunds for conservation calculated based on past use.  

One penny, for each gallon of water, or cubic foot of natural gas saved, and 10 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity saved, customers give Meterhero access to their bills. And the company deposits refunds into the customer's PayPal account.

"In total, our average rebate is just under $30," says Young.

So where's that money coming from? For now Meterhero, which says it's lining up water conscious sponsors who will ultimately take over funding. And Meterhero will then collect a "small fee" for distributing the refunds.  

"Our goal is to save a billion gallons of water in California this year".

But that's just the beginning the program is available in Nevada, and all 50 states. For homeowners, renters, even businesses. Something - Ullman hopes - will soon catch on.  

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