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NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston Township High School Take Top Honors In 'Big 7 Savers Challenge'


CHICAGO, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NorthShore University HealthSystem and Evanston Township High School (ETHS) have won the "Big 7 Savers Challenge," a yearlong energy-efficiency competition that used a free online service,, to save enough electricity and money to equal 30 years of power bills, officials from Evanston and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced Wednesday.

As an added bonus, a member from each of the winning teams was randomly selected to win a year of free power, up to $1,800. Amber Knopp, of NorthShore's team, and Mary Spoden of the ETHS team, were the lucky winners. Also on Wednesday, CUB announced a new promotion. To celebrate Earth Month, will pay the April electric bill for one in 10 consumers who join the online service before June 1.

"NorthShore University HealthSystem and Evanston Township High School did an outstanding job," Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said. "But the best thing about this competition is that there are no losers. Everyone is saving energy and money."

The Big 7 Savers Challenge, launched in March 2011, pitted the community's top seven employers—the City of Evanston, Evanston/ Skokie School District 65, District 202 (ETHS), NorthShore University HealthSystem, Northwestern University, Rotary International and Saint Francis Hospital—in an energy-saving team competition. The objective of each team was to recruit the most participants and to spur those participants to achieve the largest average drop in home electricity waste using CUB Energy Saver, CUB's free online bill-cutting service.

NorthShore University HealthSystem recruited 820 families to join CUB Energy Saver, cutting electric bills by 135,037 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and $18,230. Thirty-eight percent of NorthShore's workforce participated, topping all other competitors.

ETHS had the largest per-person savings, cutting electric bills by an average of 3.15 percent, for a total savings of $2,425 and 17,967 kWh. Overall, families in the competition cut energy usage by a total of $39,486.92 and 292,495 kWh. That's enough energy to equal about 30 years of electric bills for the average Illinois home, or to power about 740 refrigerators for a year, according to federal statistics.

Plus, the contest also helped cut carbon dioxide pollution by 476,767 pounds—comparable to taking 42 gas-guzzling cars off the road for a year.

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