Modern sustainable home

7 Ways to Make your Home a Sustainable Source of Income

A home is such a valuable resource. It can become a hub of sustainable technology or it could break down barriers between people and create communities. These seven companies do good for the planet and put money back in your pocket.

1. Lower your Utility Bill and Use Clean Energy

This company is giving our Well Wallet readers $20 off your next power bill just for signing up to support clean energy. Have you ever wanted to power your house with renewable energy without the cost of solar panels? Arcadia Power has your back. This company uses renewable energy credits to pay your power bill on your behalf.

You link your power bill to their platform, pay them for your power usage, and they will then pay the utility provider using renewable energy credits. So how much does this service cost? Here’s where it gets interesting. Arcadia offers a free package that converts 50% of your utility bill to renewable (aka clean) energy and a premium package that converts 100% of your utility power to clean energy for 1.5c/kWh, which will range from $5-$20 per month depending on home size. If you want more information before signing up, check out our in-depth review we did of their services.

You can also set up price alerts, where Arcadia finds you better deals from utility providers in your area. This is especially helpful when providers try to sneak in a higher fee. With Arcadia, you can reduce your monthly utility bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Make your home greener and get a smaller utility bill, Arcadia is a great company to look into.

2. Get Paid to Save Energy

It’s one thing to save money on your monthly utility bill by using less energy, but how many companies pay you to save energy? OHM Connect pays you to reduce your power output during peak times. You can choose the time that works for you. You’ll get paid based on how much energy you’ve saved during that time, earning you some passive income while you help the planet.

How can a company afford to do that? Energy operators pay OHM to reduce users’ energy consumption, which is cheaper and more sustainable than paying power plants to increase production. To get started, signup on their website, connect your phone or electric car, and let OHM earn you cash. To earn even more, get an OHM smart device installed on your wall. Get paid to make your home greener. Check them out.

3. Make your House a Home

No house can be called a home without the loving, caring people inside of it. Why not create that feeling and earn some money at the same time? Silvernest is a roommate matching service designed for boomers and empty nesters. Your parents (you’ve moved out by now, right?) can search for roommates and get matched based on in-depth preferences. Silvernest also offers background checks, prepared leases, and a bunch of other services to support good matching.

This is more than just a way for your parents to earn passive income. It keeps retirees in their homes for a longer period of time and creates a community, all while reducing cost. Silvernest helps empty nesters and retirees find the community they need to call their houses homes.

4. Break Down Barriers Between People

A lot of you probably know about AirBnB. They let you rent your home out to people who need places to stay in your area. You can rent out your place for a day, a weekend, or longer. You control the price, your availability, and your guest policy. This is a great way to use one of your assets (your home) to earn passive income.

But how many of you know the story behind AirBnB’s origins? It’s not just about earning cash on the side: AirBnB’s origin is about creating connection. AirBnB was designed to overcome “stranger-danger” and create genuine connections in a world-wide community. It’s easy to feel alone behind a cell phone, so it’s even more incredible that there’s an app that relieves that isolation and promotes global people-to-people connection. Sure, you can put some extra money in your pocket, but AirBnB’s real value comes from turning stranger’s houses into communal homes. They have the People part of People & Planet down pat.

5. Make Money Recycling your Old Electronics, CDs and DVDs

How many of us keep a drawer of old electronics that we never use? The truth is that it is difficult and expensive to recycle electronics. Not anymore. Decluttr buys your old electronics like cell phones, plus DVDs, CDs, games and books, then refurbishes them for resale on their online website. When you make a sale and ship your products to their warehouse (for free), you receive your payment the very next day.

They make the process super easy with an app that lets you scan barcodes and get an instant price for your item. And they’ve already paid out $100 million to 3 million happy customers.

This isn’t just a great way to make some extra cash. It’s a great way to recycle and upcycle old electronics, DVDs, and CDs. You might not have much luck selling your old iPhone 3 on eBay (seriously, remember those?), but Declutter would love to use those spare parts to refurbish a newer product that could be meaningful to someone else.

6. Get Recognized for Recycling

I don’t know about you, but most of us don’t get the recognition we deserve for throwing our aluminum cans into the blue trash can instead of the gray one. Recycle Bank awards you points for sustainable practices that you can redeem for discounts, deals, or donations. Do you separate paper, plastic, and trash in your home? You’ll earn points toward your next discount at eco-friendly and BCorp companies, restaurants, magazines, and even massages and traditional places like Dunkin Donuts. Do you properly dispose of batteries? You’re better than most, AND you’ll earn points toward donations to support environmental education in schools. Turn your home into a money-saving machine and give back to the planet at the same time.

7. Get your own Private Bill Negotiator (for free)

Sometimes when I see how high my utility bill gets, I want to argue my rates down myself. Then I remember how non-confrontational I am and hide under my desk instead. Experts at Billshark will negotiate your monthly rates down for you. You only pay the Sharks if they negotiate a better deal for you. They get a cut of the savings as payment. If you want your own negotiator for your cable bills, your cell phone bills, or your internet bills, this company will work on your behalf and save you money.

Another reason to like them: their founders worked in the telecommunications industry. That means they know all of the pricing strategy tricks used by big companies. They’re now using their knowledge to help the little guy (us) negotiate better rates. That means they are really good at what they do when it comes to negotiating your bill. Plus, they give back to the community with One-Bill-One-Hour. For every bill they negotiate, they give a child a free hour of financial literacy.

Give Back to People & Planet while Making Money

All of these companies put money back in your pocket, whether they reduce your monthly payments or earn you money. But what really makes these companies so innovative is that they do social good, too. Whether they reduce barriers between people or help you recycle, these companies strive to make the world a better place and help make your house into a home.

Check out our article on How to Turn Your Side Gig into a Tax Cut  for more advice on saving money!


Photo by Alvin Engler

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6 Comments. Leave new

[…] Related: 7 Ways to Make your Home a Sustainable Source of Income  […]

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Sounds too good to be true. Sounds like it might involve some sort of tricks?
HOW might those living in an HOA, get rules changed to allow setting up an Air BnB cabin in the back yard?
How big of fees are cut, for the bill negotiators?
Can they really negotiate down winter Utility bills?
Do Recycling points only accrue for things like donuts? or can they accrue for actually healthy things?
When utility companies force smart meters onto houses, HOW can anyone get them to stop doing the “tax-man Mil-Rate Adjustment game” on users? [it inflates or deflates cost units, resulting in larger or smaller out-of-pocket, without changing the unit rates] [who wants smart meters, when they are also used for surveillance of entire populations? ]

Reply

    1) HOW might those living in an HOA, get rules changed to allow setting up an Air BnB cabin in the back yard?
    >>> HOA rules can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. AirBnB has a community site where people can share ideas for working with HOA rules. Here is a link to this resource: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Dealing-with-HOA-interpretation-of-rules/td-p/351981

    2) How big of fees are cut, for the bill negotiators?
    >>> The BillSharks take 40% of the savings they negotiate for you. The way to look at it: if you don’t have time to negotiate, they do it for you (so you get savings you wouldn’t have received otherwise). Plus, they are experts at negotiating bills, so chances are they can get you a better outcome. They take 40% of those savings but only when the new rate is confirmed. They only get paid when you get the new savings. NOTE: this is taken up-front, so it makes sense to stay with the service provider for a year after you get the new rate. We wrote a more in-depth article here: https://magazinewellwa.wpengine.com/this-company-will-fight-to-lower-your-monthly-bills/

    3) Can they really negotiate down winter Utility bills?
    >>> They do not negotiate winter utility bills. They can negotiate: Cable TV, Wireless Phone, Satellite TV, Internet Access, Satellite Radio, and Home Security.

    4) Do Recycling points only accrue for things like donuts? or can they accrue for actually healthy things?
    >>> YES! There are many types of rewards available, including to B Corporation companies, eco companies, solar companies, restaurants, services (like massages), and more. Please visit https://www.recyclebank.com for a list of reward types.

    5) When utility companies force smart meters onto houses, HOW can anyone get them to stop doing the “tax-man Mil Rate Adjustment game” on users? [it inflates or deflates cost units, resulting in larger or smaller out-of-pocket, without changing the unit rates] [who wants smart meters, when they are also used for surveillance of entire populations? ]
    >> This is a great question and requires deeper investigation. We will come back to you shortly.

    Reply

This is good if you live in USA. Do you know if there is something similar in South Africa and if so, what and how to contact them?

Reply
    Suzanne Leigh
    June 24, 2018 3:13 pm

    Dear Michele,
    It’s true that most of these companies are US specific, though Decluttr also serves the UK. Of course, Airbnb is global. We are constantly on the look out for international partners who are forging sustainable money saving opportunities for real people. Should you find companies in SA that help consumers in this manner, please let us know! We will do the same. Thanks for your question.

    Reply

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