Ron Olson, Apple Valley, and Tyler Cram, Eagan, were the winners in the Minnesota Brighter Ideas CFL sweepstakes for Dakota Electric Association. Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supplier, Great River Energy, and its 28 member cooperatives sponsored the sweepstakes. Olson won a $500 gift card and Cram won a $100 gift card through the statewide sweepstakes by visiting www.brighterideas.com and answering a short quiz about CFLs.

The sweepstake contest was aimed at promoting energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFL).

“As energy costs continue to rise,” said Michael Hoy, Dakota Electric’s energy and member services manager, “our goal is to educate our members on ways they can control their energy costs through energy-efficient lighting and other options.”

As a result of the compact fluorescent light (CFL) sweepstakes and promotion throughout Minnesota, more than 175,000 bulbs were sold and more than 6.86 million kWh saved. The average home consumes approximately 11,000 kWh per year, so this promotion saved enough electricity to light more than 620 homes for one full year. Dakota Electric members who changed out bulbs as part of this promotion will save more than 653,523 kWh of electricity in one year.

“If every home in the United States would replace just one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent bulb,” Hoy said, “the nation could save more than $600 million in annual energy costs.”