Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Citizen's Utility Board.
A Plainfield resident who signed up for a free online service that helps people slash their utility bills was among 25 Illinois consumers to receive a big reward: free electricity for a month, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced Thursday.
Earlier this year, CUB, Illinois’ leading consumer watchdog group, held a drawing of people who joined the service, CUBenergysaver.com, during Earth Month. Twenty-five people were randomly selected, including Plainfield resident Connie DiNello, who received a check for $74.48, the amount of her power bill that month.
"I'm going to use the money to take my husband out to dinner,” said DiNello, who joined CUB Energy Saver because she’s “always into saving money.”
Managed by CUB and the software firm C3, based in Redwood City, Calif., the free service allows ComEd customers to sign up and connect their account to the online tool to track electricity savings. Users build a money-saving plan for their homes from among hundreds of efficiency actions. They receive two points for every kilowatt-hour they reduce their electric bills, and can cash those points in for restaurant and shopping discounts. One popular reward, for 100 CUB Energy Saver points, is $10 in complimentary groceries for new customers of the Door to Door Organics delivery service.
“It’s great CUB Energy Saver rewarded some consumers with a month of free electricity, but all who join the free service are winners because they cut their utility bills,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Energy efficiency has a big payoff for our planet and our pocketbooks.”
Since 2010, CUB Energy Saver has shown people how to save $2.3 million on gas and electric bills, for an average of about $108 a year. Along with DiNello, Plainfield resident Rick Kaczanko also won a month of free power. CUB Energy Saver covered power bills ranging from about $20 to $150 among the 25 winners.