FARMINGTON, Minn. (Aug. 6, 2008) — The compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb is in the business of saving money because every CFL provides more light for less money than a standard incandescent light bulb

Dakota Electric Association, along with its power supplier Great River Energy, is helping its members save on the purchase price of these energy-saving bulbs by offering a $2 savings coupon on GE-brand ENERGY STAR® CFLs. Cooperative members should look for the coupon attached to their August issue of Circuits or print a coupon from www.mnbrighterideas.com. In addition, participating Wal-Mart® stores throughout Minnesota are offering instant markdowns on GE-brand ENERGY STAR CFLs.

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

In addition to a lighting makeover, the winning home, chosen from electric co-ops across Minnesota will be featured on www.mnbrighterideas.com, where other members can compare electricity costs before and after the lighting makeover.

“We all want to do our part to reduce energy use and costs,” said Michael Hoy, energy services manager. “Switching light bulbs to CFLs is one easy way to make a big impact, and we’re hoping to help our members do just that.”

CFLs can have a big impact on an electric bill and the environment. In fact, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, we would save enough energy to:

  • • Light more than three million homes for a year,
  • • Save more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and
  • • Prevent emissions similar to removing 800,000 cars from the road.

CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. According to Hoy, 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. Menards and Home Depot now offer free recycling of CFLs.

customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 100,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member-owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Dakota Electric purchases wholesale energy from Great River Energy, Maple Grove, which provides wholesale power to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin.