Monday, December 21, 2009

New York Utility Offers “Green Allowance” to Kids

Cool program featured in the American Public Power Association's (APPA) newsletter...

Glendale Water & Power is first in nation to offer 'Green Allowance' energy conservation program for kids

Glendale Water & Power in California will soon debut Green Allowance, a new Web-based service designed to give kids the tools and motivation to champion energy conservation and help them to earn a "green allowance." The free program, available to students in Glendale schools starting early next year, is being developed through a first-in-the-nation agreement between the Southern California Public Power Authority (of which GWP is a part) and Green Allowance LLC in New York.

The program includes an innovative and kid-friendly Web site which provides practical ideas and customized assignments for children — showing how they can save energy and, in turn, save money. Youngsters are encouraged to make a deal with their parents to share the savings on their electric bill — savings that are calculated and programmed to show up on their home computers every billing cycle. The Green Allowance program Web site is scheduled to be launched this month. (See the demonstration Web site at 

Green Allowance's program, with a tagline of "Save the Planet, Get Paid" guides kids through making the deal with their parents and executing the projects. Parents will receive regular updates tracking the progress. The Green Allowance program will help to educate the whole family on the value and potential of the smart grid technologies and real-time data — part of a major infrastructure upgrade under way for all Glendale utility customers, GWP said.

"This program is different than anything we've ever done," said GWP General Manager Glenn Steiger. "By integrating actual energy consumption data right into the program, kids can see the fruits of their labor — and get rewarded by their parents. We're thrilled to be the first in the nation to make this innovative program available to our customers."

The partnership between GWP and Green Allowance is funded through Glendale's Public Benefits program. Additional SCPPA members are planning to offer the program in the future.

"Conservation is a top priority for our member utilities, and changing behavior is key to making it happen," said SCPPA Executive Director Bill Carnahan. "Green Allowance is designed to actually influence societal change. We know kids are already passionate about their environment. By speaking directly to them and giving them the tools and motivation they need to conserve, we're creating a whole new generation of energy conservationists."

"It's very exciting to work with GWP and SCPPA — they're leading the way in energy conservation," said Paul Reale, CEO of Green Allowance. "Green Allowance makes energy conservation come alive for kids by showing them right on their computers how much energy and money they're saving. We have the potential to save American consumers $1 billion a year with Green Allowance. This partnership with GWP and SCPPA is the first step toward that goal."

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