SMU electric customers who heat with electricity have been challenged to participate in a contest to see who can save the most energy.

The SMU Neg-A-Watt Challenge is a customer contest designed to show significant energy savings can be achieved by improving your home’s energy performance and by changing energy usage habits by occupants.

Now through June 10th, SMU customers who heat with electricity can nominate themselves to be participants in the Neg-A-Watt Challenge.  Entries are restricted to single-family, owner-occupied homes.  SMU staff will chose five contestants from among those applications to participate, with energy usage from August 2011 through January 2012 to be compared with usage from the same six months in 2010 and 2011.  The household that reduces their electric usage by the greatest percentage during that period will be the winner.

“One of the challenges we face with energy efficiency and conservation is behavior,” says Curtis Dean, SMU resource conservation coordinator.  “The Neg-A-Watt Challenge uses a competition to show just how much savings is possible not only through making home energy improvements, but by changing our behavior toward energy use.”

The SMU Neg-A-Watt Challenge was made possible by a grant from the American Public Power Association’s DEED program.  DEED, Demonstration of Energy Efficient Developments, rewards public power utilities like SMU for innovative projects that save energy.

In addition to a two-page application form, customers who want to participate in the Neg-A-Watt Challenge are asked to show their interest in participating by getting creative with their application.  “We encourage customers to write an essay, poem, or a song about why they should be selected,” says Dean.  “You might want to create a video, multimedia presentation, or photo collage that shows that your family wants to be picked, and that you’re going to work hard to be energy efficient during the contest.”

All applications, including accompanying materials such as videos or other creative elements, must be received by SMU on or before Friday, June 10th at 5pm in order to be considered for selection.  SMU will announce the five participating households on June 21st.

Spencer Municipal Utilities is a leading provider of cable, Internet, telephone and cellular service through i wireless in the Spencer community and has been providing water since 1886 and electric services since 1901.

# # #