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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Public Utilities Commission emphasizes energy efficiency at State Fair

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioners Bob Sahr, Dusty Johnson and Gary Hanson will present energy efficiency tips to fairgoers at the South Dakota State Fair, Saturday, Sept. 2. The special presentation will be held at 2 p.m. on the Dakotaland Stage at the State Fairgrounds in Huron. Representatives from NorthWestern Energy and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will join the commissioners for the presentation.

"We often hear about the efforts large companies and industrial electric users should make to decrease energy use and help curb the effects of global warming," said PUC Chairman Bob Sahr. "I think that very important message needs to be spread at the grass roots level.

Individuals and families can take steps to become more energy efficient that, collectively, will bear a positive impact on the environment, not to mention their home energy bills," he said.

"Our presentation will include illustrations and practical solutions that any electric customer can implement," predicted Commissioner Dusty Johnson. "Some people may not realize the cost of heating water is a major portion of their electric bill. We plan to focus part of our presentation on how to select the most energy-efficient water heater for home or business use. Plus, representatives from regional energy companies will be on-hand to share their expertise," he said.

"Fairgoers will be impressed by how easy it is to reduce their electric bill just by making a few simple changes around their home," said Hanson. "Switching the type of light bulbs they use, for example, will save money in the long run. A 20-watt compact fluorescent light bulb will use around 66 percent less energy and produce the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent light bulb," explained Hanson.

Those attending the presentation will have a chance to receive energy efficient prizes for their home. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, donated by the energy companies, will be given away at the presentation.

PUC commissioners and staff will distribute information, answer questions and sign fairgoers up for the Do-Not-Call registry throughout the State Fair, Aug. 31 – Sept. 4, at their booth in the Expo Building.

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