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He won six months of free power!


Grand prize winner Mario Lucero and his family proudly hold up energy-saving light bulbs which helped them save more than 1,000 kWh of energy. His daughter Marlene Meraz insisted their cat, Ohltli, partake in the photoshoot since he “helps them save energy by destroying electronics, so they can’t use them anymore.”

By: Laura Goldberg

This past year, the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with CUB, challenged students, faculty, and staff to compete against one another in a year-long energy savings competition.

Interested UIC participants were prompted to sign up for CUB Energy Saver, our free online energy efficiency tool that is filled with simple actions consumers can take to make their homes more energy efficient and save money. The service allows users to connect to their Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) account so it can record actual kilowatt-hour (kWh) savings.

The competition sparked 468 new CUB Energy Saver members, bringing UIC’s total number of participants to 615. Overall, the participants collectively saved 18,510 kWh of electricity and shaved $2,423 off of their electricity bills.

The first place prize—six months of free electricity—was designated to the UIC participant who saved the most overall energy.

Mario Lucero, who is  the assistant program director of the Latino Cultural Center, earned the top reward by saving more than 1,000 kWh of energy. “The most exciting part was sharing the great news with my family,” Mario said. “They were excited to know that doing something good for the environment could also be so rewarding.”

Making his two daughters and wife more aware of their household electricity usage was no easy task. But the family worked together to reduce their costs by unplugging electronics, using power strips and switching out old light bulbs for new energy efficient ones.

UIC and CUB are continuing their energy-savings collaboration this spring. The school’s Environmental Student Organization—EcoCampus—will be putting on a month-long competition in April to celebrate Earth month. (Learn more about the competition.)

And make sure to sign up and create your own energy-savings plan at CUBEnergySaver.com.