Organization celebrating energy savings in one U.P. county

HOUGHTON — The use of electricity and natural gas in Houghton County is down compared to two years ago.

That’s the word from the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team who says residential electrical customers are using 13% less electricity while natural gas usage has dropped nearly 16%. Those results were achieved through educating the community, replacing old energy inefficient appliances and helping to winterizing homes.

HEET says they are very pleased with the results.

Board Member Robert Handler of New Power Tour, part of HEET, said, “I know we didn’t do quite as many hands-on home weatherizations as we had initially planned on doing, but in place of that, we conducted a lot training workshops to give people the confidence to undertake some of these weatherization activities by themselves.”

Partnering with Efficiency UNITED and other community organizations contributed to the project’s success.

Handler said, “Our Wal-Mart here in Houghton was the number one Wal-Mart in the country in terms of LED light-bulb sales for the period of this competition, so we did some LED light-bulb giveaways, but we also had a lot people really recognize the benefits that those small improvements can have in their homes.”

The finalists for the $5 million Georgetown Energy Prize Competition are expected to announced soon but HEET doesn’t plan to let up, regardless of the results.