Dakota Electric Association recently awarded Sara van Zandt, Burnsville, a $500 MasterCard® gift card as the grand-prize winner of the company’s Home Energy Sweepstakes.

Dakota Electric and its wholesale power supplier, Great River Energy, ran the statewide campaign this spring and summer to promote compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). As part of the promotion, which included discounts for the purchase of CFLs, consumers could take an online energy-efficiency quiz at www.mnbrighterideas.com. Sara’s name was drawn randomly from quiz participants as the grand-prize winner.

“I was so excited,” Sara said. “I was really surprised.”

Sara had been using CFLs in her home and decided to take advantage of discounts offered through the CFL promotion to purchase more bulbs. She also decided to take the online quiz and enter the drawing. Sara is a believer in saving energy with CFLs and has encouraged her parents to purchase CFLs, touting the bulbs’ energy-saving benefits.

Besides selecting one grand-prize winner, Great River Energy chose one first-place winner from each of the 28 electric cooperatives it serves throughout Minnesota. Patrick Hendricks, Eagan, was selected as Dakota Electric’s first-place winner and received a $100 MasterCard gift card.

“The Home Energy Sweepstakes and CFL-discount promotion was a great success in helping energy consumers make smart lighting choices,” Michael Hoy, Dakota Electric’s energy and member service manager, said.

By offering discounts for the purchase of CFLs, Great River Energy, and the electric cooperatives it serves, sold nearly 129,000 bulbs. The savings total more than 9,800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, enough electricity to power the equivalent of 888 homes annually.

A 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.