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Lake Region Electric offers incentive to reduce energy use

It may seem unusual that an energy company wants you to save energy, but that's just what Lake Region Electric Cooperative is doing and it's getting the word out to its members that each home can make a big impact by making some simple changes. In fact, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), we would save enough energy to: Light more than 3 million homes for a year; save more than $600 million in annual energy costs; and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

If that's not enough incentive, Lake Region Electric Cooperative is offering its customers an added bonus. Lake Region Electric Cooperative members will receive a $2 off coupon for any GE-brand ENERGY STAR CFL in their electric statement or newsletter. In addition, participating Wal-Mart stores throughout Minnesota will offer instant markdowns on GE-brand ENERGY STAR CFLs.

Members also can enter to win a $1,000 home lighting makeover or one of 28 $250 lighting prizes. To sign up for the sweepstakes, co-op members can visit www. between August 1 and October 31, 2008. After taking a short quiz about CFLs, they automatically will be entered to win.

One grand prize will be awarded to a member who resides within one of Great River Energy's 28 member cooperative service territories. In addition to a home lighting audit and home lighting makeover, the winning home will be featured on, where other customers can compare electricity costs before and after the home lighting makeover.

CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. According to Husted, each CFL in a home can save about $30 in electricity costs over the bulb's lifetime. The bulbs - which are available in different sizes and shapes to fit almost any fixture - also produce about 75 percent less heat than traditional bulbs, making them safer to operate and cutting energy costs associated with home cooling.

Lake Region Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, member-controlled electric utility serving more than 25,800 members in Otter Tail and Wilkin counties and portions of surrounding counties.