A Vermont Company Is Paying Employees $6,000 To Go Green

Photo: Flickr / RightBrainPhotography

We’ve heard about employers penalising their workers for unhealthy habits, and now it looks like the trend might extend to our environmental behaviour as well. FastCo Exist’s Ben Schiller reports a solar tracker manufacturer in Vermont, AllEarth Renewables, is eschewing direct incentives for a system that “penalizes failure to cut energy use.”

Here’s how Schiller says it works: “All 25 employees receive $6,000 to cover all their electricity, driving and heating needs, and then charges them the equivalent of 15 cents per kilowatt per hour based on how much fuel they use. Use less than your $6,000 and you just got an extra bonus from your employer.” 

The REWIRE program seems to be clicking among employees, with one worker ditching his Toyota Tacoma for a Volkswagen TDI and others using the cash to retrofit their homes with sustainable materials and greener appliances

It’s nice to see a company working together to better the planet, but it’s hard to tell whether such incentives like AllEarth will click elsewhere. A company’s culture isn’t always in line with its workers’ values, and in cases like the wellness programs, which reward people for meeting certain health critieria, not everyone will feel comfortable letting their boss dictate their lifestyle.  

If your employer’s not hip to the trend and you’re trying to save some cash, try this trick from YM contributor Trent Hamm: Turn down your home’s water heater

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