Mayor Chris Beutler today kicked off the Lincoln Energy Challenge, a campaign to encourage Lincoln residents to reduce energy use at home and save money. The campaign, which continues through August, is organized by the Mayor's Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative in collaboration with the Lincoln Electric System, Black Hills Energy, AmeriCorps, Community Action Partnership, Midtown Village and Stronger, Safer Neighborhoods.
"The Lincoln Energy Challenge encourages residents to 'get comfortable saving money' and shows them how easy it is to reduce energy consumption," said Mayor Beutler. "This free program will give residents the tools they need to improve energy efficiency in their homes, and the result will be greater comfort and long-term energy savings."
Beutler said even small improvements can make a big difference, and those who pledge to join the Challenge also will be eligible for prizes, incentives, rebates and rewards worth thousands of dollars. Residents have several options for pledging:
Everyone who pledges will receive a free "Powerkit!" full of information, ideas and resources. The website also lists easy and cost-effective improvements and will have information on upcoming workshops and programs. Those who share their progress with the campaign are eligible to enter weekly drawings and win prizes donated by local businesses.
Participants also may request two kinds of energy checkups:
A limited number of free professional energy checkups will be available to residents of qualified homes through the campaign. In addition, those receiving professional energy checkups through August 2011 will be eligible for a rebate check of up to $250 for certain recommended upgrades. This spring, schools, businesses, neighborhood associations and faith-based groups will have the opportunity to win energy saving, environmentally friendly prizes.
The City's Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative was launched in partnership with the Nebraska Attorney General's office, which provided $50,000 from a lawsuit settlement. The $2.4 million in stimulus funds to support the effort are available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.