Reporting Paula Ebben
WEST BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – Lisa Holden rarely stocks up the pantry without using a stack of coupons. So, the budget-conscious West Bridgewater mom jumped at the chance to rack up savings on her heating and electric bills. “I signed up instantly and pretty much told everyone and anyone I know about it,” she says.
Lisa now saves money by shopping. It’s all thanks to Neighbor Power. The Andover-based company lets shoppers earn reward points toward their electric and gas bills with each trip to the store. “You get rewarded for living,” explains Paul Harkins, the CEO of Neighbor Power. The company launched last year letting customers save money on oil and it recently expanded to offer deep discounts on gas and electric too. Harkins says, “if you could save $15 – $20 a month on that bill by doing the same things you’re doing today, just doing it through our platform, it’s kind of a no-brainer to offset all these increases in energy costs.”
And this winter is expected to be expensive. According to the US Energy Department, families who heat their home with oil are looking at a price hike of 20%. Natural gas is expected to be up 15% and electric heat will cost 5% more this year.
There are two ways to earn cash using Neighbor Power. If you like to shop online, the first option may be right up your alley. Just log onto your favorite stores through your Neighbor Power account first. Through those online purchases you can rack up cash rewards to put toward that heating bill. You can also save money by registering all of your store loyalty cards with Neighbor Power. Then browse the Neighbor Power website for coupons that you like. Once you activate a coupon the discount is automatically stored on your all of loyalty cards, plus you earn points toward your heating bill. Lisa describes this option as double dipping, “You’re getting the money from the coupons and money into your account from Neighbor Power.”
In a few weeks, the money will be in your online account, ready to be deducted from your bill. After just a few weeks, Lisa had already saved $24 to put toward her bill. She expects to save enough to cover at least three full electric bills a year.