I 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.