It’s been 40 years since Henry Kelso has won anything, which explains why he was shocked to learn he had won The CUB Voice Green Giveaway.
The East Galesburg resident was randomly selected from 253 CUB members to win $100 and a solar cell phone charger in the watchdog group’s summer giveaway.
“I sure do appreciate winning, especially when it’s $100 in cash,” Henry said.
But the retired truck driver’s low power bills give him even more satisfaction than winning. Henry credits a series of energy efficiency improvements for helping him cut costs.
“We’ve lived in the same house for 43 years,” Henry said. “It’s all about cutting back on the old stuff as it dies and replacing it with new, energy-efficient stuff.”
Henry and his wife—who will be married 56 years next month—have replaced an outdated furnace, air conditioner and fridge with more efficient models.
On top of that, the couple have installed new windows to eliminate air gaps, added more insulation to the house and attic to keep warm or cool air from seeping out, and restored the roof.
Despite all those improvements, Henry swears the switch from incandescent light bulbs to energy-saving CFLs has saved his family the most money.
“Before the lighting change, our power bill used to be over $200,” Henry said. “Now we’re saving $40 to $50 a month.”
The longtime CUB member has no intention of stopping there. He plans to replace the CFLs with LEDs as soon as they burn out. (Check CUB’s efficiency page for more money-saving tips.)
When he’s not busy enhancing his home’s efficiency, Henry spends his time helping CUB challenge Ameren Illinois. The watchdog’s efforts to fight unfair rate hikes is what attracted him to the organization more than 30 years ago.
“CUB keeps Ameren under control,” Henry said. “And you help us save money.”