Maritime Electric is considering using Air Miles to encourage people to save electricity when it launches its new conservation programs.

'People were replacing all the bulbs in their homes.' - Margo Coughlin, Efficiency Nova Scotia

The P.E.I. government recently handed responsibility for conservation back to the utility. A spokesperson for Maritime Electric said it will weigh all suggestions in a report published by the P.E.I. Office of Energy Efficiency in 2011 that were never acted upon. One of those suggestions is partnering with Air Miles for Social Change.

It's a program that has worked well for Efficiency Nova Scotia. Marketing leader Margo Coughlin said one of her organization's first campaigns, in 2011, offered 20 Air Miles for every CFL bulb purchased at Sobeys.

"The incentive was good enough that people were replacing all the bulbs in their homes," said Coughlin.

"So instead of buying one or two they were buying in the 15 to 20 range."

Sobeys' sales of CFL light bulbs increased 200 per cent that year, and Efficiency Nova Scotia Coughlin said that contributed to 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity being saved, enough to power 150 homes for a year.

The Ontario Power Authority was the first in Canada to partner with Air Miles for Social Change. It offered 20 Air Miles in return for a pledge to save electricity in 2010, and increased the number of pledges from 19,000 to 133,000.

Partnering can save utilities advertising money, because Air Miles will promote campaigns to its members.

For mobile device users: Would an incentive program like Air Miles encourage you to save electricity?