Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

August 4, 2009

A Fun Incentive for your Kids to Save Energy — Moolah Maker

Category: Cool Sites,Fun,Save Electricity – Tom Harrison – 8:28 pm

moolah-makerI smiled today when I saw Energy Circle’s new “Moolah Maker” — my 11 year old son is away at camp now, so his younger sister will get the jump on him: she’ll earn money by saving energy around the house.

Moolah Maker is as simple as pie, and kids love pie. Make a contract with your kids — they get half, or maybe more (or less, Scrooge) of the savings. Enter this month’s electricity bill. Wait until next month, then add that bill. Moolah Maker creates an invoice you pay to your kids.

Anyone with kids knows the main method used by most of us parents to get children to do something is one of (and I quote),

  • “Carter Christopher Harrison, did you leave the light on again???”, or
  • “Charlotte, if you leave your computer on again, there will be no ice cream on ice cream night!!!”, or the time honored,
  • “I don’t know who left that light on, but if it’s not off in one minute, no one’s getting birthday presents this year. One, two, three…”

Personally, I don’t understand why these don’t work. Sure, they just made me angry when my father uttered them, but I am so much nicer (when I yell at the top of my voice). Kids these days — it’s all about money. And video games. And texting.

So maybe Energy Circle has the right idea. Pay off the little munchkins.

And why not? If they are the ones saving the energy, shouldn’t they get a piece of the action? Shouldn’t they get a sense of how much money there is in making a small change like changing a bulb, or air-drying your laundry, or using a Smart Strip? Oh, and by the way, did you know that a computer left running all the time can cost around $100/year in electricity bills? Of course you did — you’re the Dad/Mom — parents know everything-ing-ing.

And, coincidentally, Energy Circle seems to sell just about everything you’ll need to make those energy savings come to pass. I have saved several hundreds of dollars with my Smart Strip power strips, for example.

Have fun — we will. And maybe I won’t need to remember my childrens’ middle names any more.


  1. […] smiled today when I saw Energy Circle’s new Moolah Maker….” Tom Harrison of Five Percent wrote, adding that Moolah Maker seems a better approach than either cajoling or threats. […]

    Pingback by Moolah Maker Reviews: A fresh way to involve kids in energy efficiency. | Energy Circle — August 14, 2009 @ 8:00 am

  2. […] of this “genius” tool: Shea Gunther of MNN’s Earth Matters, The Daily Green, and Tom Harrison of Five Percent.   Former President Bill Clinton celebrated his birthday in Vegas, and took a moment to talk about […]

    Pingback by Whiplash, in case you missed the Energy Efficiency News from August 11-14, 2009 | Energy Circle — August 17, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  3. What a great idea, I thought the only way to get the kids to use less electricity around the house was to send them off college. You can even turn it into a great home-school math project. Wish I had thought of this 20 years ago – the kids have all gone to college

    Comment by Adam Bauer — September 9, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

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