Rockford resident wins $300 in free electricity

A Rockford resident who in the heat of summer signed up for the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Energy Saver, a free online service that helps people slash their utility bills, is getting a big payoff just in time for the cold winter: $300 in free electricity.

Kirk Skorzak of Rockford says he never wins anything, and didn’t expect to win a special CUB Energy Saver drawing that covered his summer electricity expenses.

It’s great. I was totally surprised,” Skorzak said. “I’m retired, so a little extra money along the way sure does come in handy.”

CUB Energy Saver,, created in a partnership between CUB and New York City-based Efficiency 2.0, recommends hundreds of actions that have been helping families of all incomes slash their electric and natural gas bills by an average of $130 a year. What makes the service unique in the nation is a rewards program that allows people to track their actual energy savings and get shopping and restaurant discounts if they cut electricity use.

CUB Energy Saver helps customers cut their utility bills, it gives them rewards for being energy efficient, and now it’s given a Rockford resident the gift of free electricity this holiday season,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “It pays to be energy efficient.”

To celebrate its one-year anniversary last June, CUB Energy Saver held a drawing for about 1,400 Illinois residents who joined the online service that month. The top prize was a summer of free electricity (June-August), up to $500. Skorzak was among the 70 winners who recently received their prize money.

Skorzak, whose summer bills totaled $313.64, said CUB Energy Saver made him more aware of the little things he can do to conserve energy and keep his costs down. One recommendation he found helpful was sealing off costly air gaps around doors and windows.

This tip prompted me to give them another check, and I found gaps where the insulation needed replacing, and some areas that needed to be re-caulked,” he said.

Kolata said: “Rockford has been one of the most energy-efficient communities we have taking part in CUB Energy Saver, and we hope to get more residents to sign up for the free service in 2012. The word is out this holiday season: Energy efficiency isn’t just good for the planet, it’s great for our pocketbooks.”

From the Dec. 28, 2011-Jan. 3, 2012, issue

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