Southeast MN

LED light bulb giveaway helps families save energy, money

People's Energy Cooperative supports its members

Saving energy leads to saving money. One quick and easy way to save energy and money is to upgrade to LED lights—every 60 Watt equivalent LED light bulb can save a family $10 a year over an old incandescent, and that includes purchasing and powering it.

People’s Energy Cooperative has been helping its low-income members over the past few months with distribution of free LED bulbs, energy efficiency tips, and whistles that will tell you when your furnace filters need changing.

People's Energy Cooperative distributed 1,050 LED light bulbs in 280 gift bags, in three ways:

  1. Some were given to food shelves in Southeastern Minnesota.
  2. Some to residents applying for energy assistance at the local Community Action Agencies of SEMCAC and Three Rivers.
  3. 100 bags were distributed at the Zumbro Ridge Estates resident-owned manufactured home community in Northeast Rochester.

Total savings from LEDs alone could be more than $10,500 per year over incandescent bulbs. The 100 bags distributed at Zumbro Ridge also contained kits from Minnesota Energy Resources with a selection of low-flow water devices that save energy by reducing hot water use.

We are a community that serves 80% below median income, with most at 60% or lower. The energy saving gifts of the bulbs and the hot water saving faucet tips and shower heads were a true savings in themselves. However, the educational materials are of the utmost benefit as they change habits that families can use to save energy costs for many years to come.

Allie Lechner, resident and voluntary board member at Zumbro Ridge Estates

Lechner told CERTs that residents said they were grateful to learn that the utilities cared about helping their customers save money. Cristina McNallan, Electrical Services and Program Coordinator at People’s Energy Cooperative confirmed “We care because, as a member-owned  Cooperative, we want our members to benefit from the programs we put into place.”  

CERTs has been facilitating connections like those between People’s Energy Cooperative and local food shelves across the state. If you are interested in a similar program contact Joel Haskard with CERTs to find out what connections we might help you make.

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