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Vermont firm to workers: Save energy, earn bonus

WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) A Vermont manufacturer of renewable energy equipment has found a formula to get its employees to save energy: a $6,000 annual bonus, offset with a carbon tax.

AllEarth Renewables in Williston says the program has motivated employees enough that their electricity use dropped 21 percent from 2012 to 2013 and their auto mileage dropped 7 percent. Heating was up last year because of the bitterly cold winter.

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The company's chief strategy officer says bike-riding, bus-taking and carpooling are up sharply among the company's 31 employees. The tax is tough: about $5.55 on a gallon of gasoline.

The leader so far has been Chief Operating Officer Doug Goldsmith. He collected $4,400 of his bonus in 2012 and more than $4,800 last year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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