Renewable Energy Questions & Answers
The things you need to know about switching to clean energy with Inspire
- Member Support
- General Questions
- Clean Energy
- Inspire Plans
- Small Business
- Rewards & Referrals
- Reduce & Redeem
- Smart Energy & Inspire Smart Home App
How do I cancel?
To review your plan’s cancellation policy, you can reach out to our friendly member support team through email, chat or phone.
Do I need to notify my utility that I’m switching to Inspire?
No. Your choice is encouraged by both your local utility company and your state utility commission. Your utility will still manage delivery of your electricity, including responsibility for your poles, meters, wires, and outages.
Can I be an Inspire member if I’m on budget billing?
Each utility has different procedures with regard to customers on budget billing plans. Unfortunately, you cannot sign-up with Inspire if you are on budget billing. We recommend you check with your utility about switching to a third-party supplier, such as Inspire.
How does billing work? Do I pay Inspire directly?
Nothing changes about your billing except Inspire will take over the supply portion of your bill. You won't receive any additional charges, and there’s no new or secondary bill. You'll continue to pay your local utility company for the delivery of your electricity (including responsibility for your poles, meters, wires and outages) and Inspire will take over supplying you with 100% clean power.
How can I find Inspire on my bill?
Inspire's supply charge for our clean power will show up on the supply or generation section of your bill. It's often located after your distribution charges, which your utility still controls.
Is there any new equipment or change to my service?
No. Inspire is one of the easiest ways to make a big difference. Inspire works with your existing utility service, so you don’t have to install anything and your power won’t be interrupted.
What states are you in?
Inspire has happy members in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and Illinois.
How do I become a member?
Put in your zip code below and see if we cover your area.
When are you coming to my area?
We’re adding new markets continually, and hope to release a national subscription in 2018.
Will Inspire cost more?
Maybe. As we have many different plans and options, Inspire's price may be higher at times than your local utility company or other suppliers. The good news is we're offering you 100% clean power every single month.
What is a REC?
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are certificates created by renewable energy projects when they produce energy.
Wind farms produce one REC for every megawatt-hour of electricity they generate. By producing RECs alongside the energy commodity, renewable energy projects are able to get compensated for the environmental benefit they create and earn more than non-renewable power sources. Over time, this stimulates increased demand for renewables.
Where does the renewable energy come from?
Inspire purchases wind RECs from projects throughout the U.S.
What is a kWh?
Energy is commonly measured per kilowatt-hour (kWh). A kWh represents the average amount of energy all of your devices pull from the grid each hour. Your home’s monthly kWh usage is measured using a meter connected to your house.
What type of renewable energy do you offer?
Today, we purchase energy from the grid plus RECs from renewable energy projects, like wind farms, across the country for each MWh of energy our members use.
How clean is my energy?
Like a smoothie, your power grid has lots of ingredients. Most existing power companies connect you with "dirty" energy sources like natural gas and coal. By choosing Inspire, pollution-free wind power is produced and placed on the grid for every kilowatt hour you use.
Learn more about your state’s energy “smoothie” below.
How does the grid work?
Whether it’s from a coal plant or a wind farm, all energy gets placed on regional grids when it’s produced. Power is carried from a grid through high voltage transmission lines to demand centers, where distribution power lines carry power into people’s homes.
Can I still sign up for Inspire if I have rooftop solar?
Definitely. Many homes with solar still use more power than their panels generate.
Are there tax benefits to being an Inspire member?
There aren’t tax benefits to being an Inspire member.
Is it more expensive to choose clean power for my home?
As a technology, the cost of wind power has decreased exponentially over the last few years. That means that wind power isn’t necessarily more expensive than any other form of energy.
What is a deregulated market?
A deregulated market means you get to choose how to power your home or business! In a deregulated market, policy makers have decided to allow consumer choice when it comes to which energy companies provide energy for people’s homes and business. Currently, there are 18 states that have adopted some form of deregulation and there are more on the way.
What is a wind farm?
A wind farm is a group of turbines that provide power to the grid without creating pollution or carbon emissions. To learn more, check out our blog post on this topic.
What’s the difference between a REC and a carbon credit?
A carbon credit represent one ton of carbon emissions — or often greenhouse gas emissions more generally — that was avoided or otherwise offset. Carbon credits are used by businesses and countries to comply with regulations and commitments to reduce their output of climate warming emissions. Carbon credits can be purchased to offset emissions, which provides financial support to many carbon neutral or carbon offsetting efforts, such as renewable energy projects, forest protection and reforestation.
RECs, on the other hand, are specific to renewable energy production. They can be purchased by residential and commercial customers to match up their energy consumption with clean power.
What plans do you offer?
With our variable rate plans, your energy supply rate can change each month. Some of our members prefer this option as the month-to-month plan offers flexibility and does not include a fee to cancel.
With our fixed rate plans, you are charged per kWh at a pre-priced rate for a 6 or 12 month term. Some of our members prefer this option as our fixed plans offer kWh rate stability.
Clean energy subscription plan
With our Inspire One plan, you are not charged per kWh, but instead by a monthly subscription charge. You pay one secure energy supply price every month which is based on your home profile and energy usage. Inspire One provides all potential members with an individualized subscription plan that is unique to their home.
Note that not all plan options are available to all customers. Enter your zip code here to find out what plans are available in your area.
How does a variable plan work?
With our Inspire Flex plan, your energy supply rate can change each month. Some of our members prefer this option as the month-to-month plan offers flexibility and does not include a fee to cancel.
How does a fixed plan work?
With our Inspire Fixed plan, you are charged per kWh at a pre-priced rate for a 6 or 12 month term.
How does a clean energy subscription plan work?
With our Inspire One plan, you are not charged per kWh. You pay one secure energy supply price every month, which is based on your home profile and energy usage. This is how we are able to provide all potential members with an individualized subscription plan that is unique to their home.
How do I know which plan is right for me?
We strongly suggest choosing our Inspire One clean energy subscription plan as it's based off your specific home's energy profile and provides the easiest way to predict your monthly electricity bill.
Why Clean Energy?
Clean energy utilizes natural resources like wind and solar, which are an infinite resource and are pollution-free, unlike fossil fuels. As such, they’re the modern way to power your business. Read up on why clean energy matters!
Besides being the seamless and modern choice, there are other benefits to being a Clean Power Partner. Consumers want to buy from brands that are socially conscious. This is your chance to get in on that movement. Switch to Inspire, and your customers will thank you.
What are the fees associated with an Inspire plan?
There is never any deposit required to start using clean energy. Variable rate plans are billed on how many kilowatt hours (kWh) your business uses each month. No fees there! Fixed rate plans have a locked in price for a set period, though cancellation fees will apply if you decide to change your service before the term ends.
Will my service be interrupted?
No. Your energy supply account will seamlessly transition to Inspire within 2-4 weeks of your business’s enrollment.
How can I make my customers aware of my switch?
Easy! With our Clean Power Partner Toolkit, you will have all the assets you need to tout your switch to clean energy with Inspire.
Rewards & Referrals
How can I share Inspire?
As an Inspire member, you receive a unique referral code that you can send to friends and family. We send you a refer a friend email, and you can always reach out to Member Support to get this link sent to you. For each friend that signs up, we'll send you $25 and your friend a $25 sign up bonus. There are no limits to how much you can earn!
I referred a friend. When will I receive my referral reward?
Once the person you referred is accepted by their local utility, it will trigger your $25 bonus Mastercard to be sent out. You will receive an email from Virtual Incentives so you can redeem your reward by email or by mail, whichever you prefer. You should receive your prepaid Mastercard in the mail in 4-6 weeks, or via email in 1-2 weeks.
I was referred by a friend. When do I earn the $25 bonus for being referred?
You have to be an active member with Inspire for 2 full months to receive your referral bonus. Once you have been an active member for 2 months, you will receive your prepaid Mastercard reward either in the mail, or it will be sent to your email address if there is one on file.
What rewards do you offer?
Depending on the plan you choose, you can receive 1) 3% annual cashback + a $25 sign-up bonus after 3 months 2) 1% cashback and 3) Unlimited rewards through our Refer a Friend program.
How does the cash back work?
It’s actually quite simple. You support clean energy by paying your same utility bill each month, and in return, eligible customers can earn a percentage of your supply charges back in the form of a loyalty “thank you”! You’ll be able to redeem your cash back reward through a virtual (email) or physical Mastercard (through the mail), whichever you prefer. The great news--you’ll earn each year you’re a member. It’s our way of thanking you for your loyalty and support. Depending on your usage, your cash back reward might be as much as one month of electricity!
Reduce & Redeem
What is Reduce & Redeem?
Reduce & Redeem is Inspire’s revolutionary rewards program that actually pays you when you use less energy. We believe the cleanest form of energy is the energy you don’t use.
Is Reduce & Redeem available in my area?
Currently, Reduce & Redeem is only available to members in Pennsylvania who enroll in our Inspire One clean energy subscription plans. We’re continually adding new markets, and hope to offer Reduce & Redeem to all members by summer 2018. Check your welcome email to see if you have been enrolled.
Separately, all members can earn rewards through our Give $25, Get $25 referral program. Our variable and fixed plans include a sign-up bonus and cash back rewards.
How does Reduce & Redeem work?
It’s simple: Beat your forecast three times, win cash. When you use less energy than your forecast for any 3 months you earn a cash reward that is automatically credited to your next month’s bill.
Your energy forecast is determined by how we expect your usage to change throughout the course of the year and adjusted based on how much energy you have used historically.
How do I earn rewards?
When you use less energy for any 3 months (months do not have to be consecutive) you’ll earn a cash reward that is automatically credited to your next month’s bill. Your cash reward is customized to you, just like your clean energy subscription price. After you enroll in Inspire One, you’ll receive a welcome email with your reward amount. Your reward is approximately one-third of your subscription price. This ensures all our members get a reward that’s valuable to them. So if you pay a flat rate of $89.99 every month, your cash reward is $30. When you earn your reward, it will auto redeem as a reduction in your subscription price on your next month’s bill. After that month, your supply price will revert back to your original subscription price, per your contract terms.
You must be an Inspire member to receive any rewards you earn. If you leave us before we can credit your bill, sadly, you’ll lose the reward.
Do I have to use less for 3 consecutive months to earn my cash rewards?
Nope. You just need to use less energy than your forecast any 3 months. When you renew your Inspire One plan, the program then restarts and you’ll be back on track to earning your next reward.
How does Inspire track my actual energy usage compared to my forecasted usage?
We take data points like weather patterns, historical energy usage, and monthly meter reads to develop sophisticated algorithms that produce a customized energy forecast to compare against your home’s actual energy usage.
Every month we take a meter read from your home to understand exactly how much energy you’ve used. We then compare that actual usage against your unique energy forecast to determine whether you have used less or more that month. You must enroll with 15+ days of Inspire supply service in the first billing cycle to participate in the first month of Reduce & Redeem. If you enroll with fewer than 15 days of Inspire service, you can participate in your second month.
If it’s a hot month and your usage goes up because the A/C is running, that’s understandable! Our forecast should have expected you to need a little more energy and it doesn’t mean you can’t win. So long as your usage goes up by less than your forecast, you are using energy more efficiently. Bottom line, if you use less energy than forecasted for the month, you’re on track to win!
How do I track my monthly energy usage and rewards progress?
Every month you’ll receive an email on whether you’ve used less than your forecast! You’ll also be able to track your rewards progress and get customized tips to save energy.
What can I do to use less energy to earn my rewards?
Simple changes around your home can help! Get a head start by turning off all lights, appliances and electronics when they are not in use, or look into installing a smart thermostat that can adjust heating and air conditioning automatically. Keeping your home energy efficient can have a big impact on the environment (and your energy bill!)
Your monthly energy performance emails will also have quick tips on how you can do simple things around your home to save energy.
How many cash rewards can I earn per year?
Currently, you can earn only one cash reward per year through the Reduce & Redeem rewards program. We are continually working on improving this program which would include being able to win cash rewards more frequently. Separately, all members can earn rewards through our Give $25, Get $25 referral program.
Is there some legalese I can read?
The terms and conditions of this program are found here in the FAQ. Be sure to check your official start date email that includes Reduce & Redeem program details specific to you. Of course, as we will be constantly improving our Reduce & Redeem rewards program, Inspire may revise these terms and conditions at any time.
These terms and conditions were last updated on February 9, 2018. If we’ve updated these terms after we sent you your start date email, please give us a call at 866-403-2620 to check which terms apply to you.
Smart Energy & Inspire Smart Home App
When will I get my devices?
Your Smart Device Pack will ship immediately after your Smart Energy Subscription plan is activated. Once your plan is activated, your Smart Device Pack will arrive in 5–10 business days.
How do I add smart devices to the Inspire Smart Home app?
- For each device you'd like to add, you will first need to download that device's app. Here are some quick links to help you download and install each device.
- Now, for the best part. Add your pre-installed smart devices to the Inspire Smart Home app within the "Control" tab. From here, you can control multiple devices right from the Inspire App.
What can I do with my Inspire Smart Home app?
Simply put: the Inspire Smart Home app gives you the power to effortlessly control your connected devices, track & manage your energy usage, and tackle home projects.
Our goal is to create the best single source of control for your home automation and energy needs. We’re continuously improving and adding functionality and welcome your feedback and ideas. Want to get in touch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current list of features include:
- Get your daily weather, news, and calendar updates all in one place. You can pick from 70+ news sources and connect your calendars from Google, Office 365, and Outlook.
- Control all of your smart devices all in one place, from anywhere
- Add devices to rooms or groups to organize your devices
- Set your thermostat temperatures and modes
- Monitor your energy usage and compare against your forecast
- Track your energy supply charges and get helpful tips on how to reduce your use
- Manage your home maintenance projects
- Set goals and budgets
Do I still need other apps to control my devices?
You only need to download the device apps for installation. Once installed, you can control all your devices through the Inspire Smart Home app once you’ve connected your accounts.
I already have some smart devices in my home. Does the Inspire Smart Home app support these devices?
We currently support:
- Ecobee Smart Thermostats
- Nest Thermostats
- Sengled Element Smart Lighting
- LIFX Smart Lighting
We’re constantly adding support for new devices and platforms. We’ll be sure to send you updates via email when a new device or platform is added.
- Samsung SmartThings
- Apple HomeKit
- Philips Hue Smart Lighting
What if I have more than one thermostat?
The Inspire app supports multiple thermostats right out of the box, so just add your thermostats by tapping “Add a Device” and you’ll be good to go.
Can more than one person use the app to control the devices in my home?
Yes. Anyone that lives with you or has permission to access your devices by connecting to their accounts will be able to use the application to control the devices.
Can I use the Inspire Smart Home app for multiple homes?
No. However, multiple home support is coming soon. You’ll be able to easily switch between each home to control the devices within them. No logging in or out required.
Is the Inspire Smart Home app secure?
Inspire is committed to protecting our members' privacy. Inspire products and services use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol for connections to ensure the highest level of security. The SSL protocol is commonly utilized by banks, government agencies and e-commerce sites to ensure privacy and the protection of personal information.