Accent Energy, a Dublin, Ohio-based energy supplier, has developed a new program that actually pays customers for using less energy. Through Conserve|Earn, the amount of the refund is based on how much energy a customer saves as compared to the previous year. Residential customers can earn up to $250 and commercial customers can earn as much as $1,000.

“Energy conservation is considered one of the most effective ways of managing electricity costs in these difficult economic times. Consumers win three ways: reducing the amount of electricity consumed means lower monthly bills. Accent pays them an additional incentive above their savings, and conserving energy helps curb climate change,” said Lance Schneier, Accent CEO.

Air conditioning and heating are the biggest contributors to high electric bills in the summer and winter. Appliances and electronics also use significant amounts of electricity. The increase in telecommuting means home offices hum with fully equipped digital communications hubs. The latest flat-screen home-entertainment centers demand more juice than last generation’s TVs and VCRs. And, leaving these items plugged in when they are not in use wastes an enormous amount of electricity.

“The idea behind Conserve|Earn is to help consumers lower their energy costs by increasing their awareness about the significant impact that electricity consumption has on their monthly electric bills. And, hopefully, it will bring to the forefront the idea that everyone can play a role in reshaping the U.S.’s energy dependence and helping save our environment,” Schneier said.