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Big employers get energy saving challenge

Updated 11:50 a.m.: The Citizens Utility Board this morning awarded Evanston 21,650 light bulbs and kicked off a year-long energy-saving competition among the city's top seven employers.

CUB Executive Director David Kolata

In "The Big 7 Savers Challenge," employers will compete to see who can build the biggest team and rack up the largest home energy savings with CUBEnergySaver.com, the nation's only free online service that pays people to be energy efficient.

Any ComEd customer — not just employees of the seven businesses — can join one of the teams, and at the end of 2011, two people randomly selected from the winning teams will win a year of free electricity.

The 21,650 Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs are top prize for last year's competition in which Evanston residents bested hundreds of other Illinois communities to save the most electricity with CUB Energy Saver.

About a third of the bulbs the city won were on display at the news conference this morning at the Evanston Public Library.

CUB Executive Director David Kolata and Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl were joined at the news conference by representatives from some of the employers — which include St. Francis Hospital, Rotary International, Northwestern University, Northshore University Health System, District 65, Evanston Township High School, and the City.

CUB Energy Saver gives households a personalized plan to cut their utility bills, tracks real savings, and rewards families with shopping discounts for reducing their electricity usage.

In 2010, CUB Energy Saver saved Illinois families more than $114,000 and 877,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity—enough to power the average Illinois home for a century.

CUB is a nonprofit utility watchdog organization created by the Illinois Legislature in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers.

Since then, CUB says it has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds.

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