Memphis neighborhoods continue energy-saving competition

Kristan Huntley turns off a light to save energy.
Kristan Huntley turns off a light to save energy.

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It's a battle that has two Midtown communities going head to head: Cooper Young versus Evergreen in a contest to see which neighborhood can use the least amount of energy through a one year period.

"If you ask the people of Cooper Young, they're ahead," MLGW spokesperson Chris Stanley said Wednesday. "If you ask the people in Evergreen, they're ahead. That's how deep this competition is going."

It's called 'The Smallest User,' and it's similar to NBC's hit reality show 'The Biggest Loser.'  In this competition, MLGW will be adding up all the bills in 2010 from homes in both communities.  They will be compared with bills from 2008 to see which neighborhood is saving the most money.

"It's something we try to think about on a daily basis," participant Kristan Huntley said. "Turn off the lights and don't leave the TV on."

But due to the recent cold snap, Huntley and her family are having trouble keeping their power bill down.  Since November of 2009, they've seen about a $200 increase.

Stanley says that's not unusual.

"If it's colder outside, your system has to operate harder to make it to the temperature you want inside the home," he said. "That's why we're going to see an increase in bills."

Now, Huntley is doing everything she can to conserve energy.

"When we have cold rooms, we try not to turn up the heat overall, and we try to get a space heater," she said.

Stanley offered other tips.

"Making sure your doors and windows have tight seals around them," he said. "There are little things you can do that will add up to bigger savings."

For those keeping score, preliminary data from MLGW shows the amount of usage in Cooper Young went up 35 percent this month.  Numbers from Evergreen are not yet available.

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