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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Oct. 2, 2006  
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Public Utilities Commissioners issue energy-saving challenge to South Dakotans

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioners Bob Sahr, Dusty Johnson and Gary Hanson are issuing a challenge to South Dakotans to follow energy efficient practices in their home and businesses. To launch the challenge and commemorate South Dakota's "Change a Light Day," the commissioners will lead energy-efficient lighting demonstrations for elementary school students in Pierre and Sioux Falls on Oct. 4.

Commissioners Bob Sahr and Dusty Johnson will meet with the second grade students of Mrs. Hanten, Ms. Kraft and Mrs. Miller at Washington Elementary School in Pierre at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4 to install energy efficient lights at the school. Commissioner Gary Hanson will do the same with the second grade students of Mrs. Dykstra at Lowell Elementary School in Sioux Falls at 9:50 a.m. that day. The commissioners will also lead a demonstration for the students at each location to show the amount of energy different types of light bulbs require and describe ways the students can help their families become more energy efficient.

"Switching to more energy efficient lighting is an easy way for South Dakotans to make a difference in their home energy bills and help the environment," said PUC Chairman Bob Sahr. "We challenge each South Dakotan to make a pledge that between now and Dec. 31, 2006, they will change at least one bulb in their home or business to an energy saving model, such as a compact fluorescent light," he said.

By Dec. 31, 2006, the PUC hopes to meet its goal of doubling the amount of "Change a Light" pledges South Dakotans have made to-date. Click the "South Dakota Change a Light Pledge" link on the PUC home page, at to register a pledge.

"It's amazing how something as easy as changing one light bulb can have such a huge effect," said Commissioner Dusty Johnson.  "If each household in South Dakota installs just one energy efficient light bulb, we would save $1.1 million in electrical bills and enough energy to light all the households in Pierre for 480 days. That small effort leads to a big result," he said. 

The Commissioners aren't only emphasizing the economic benefits of the "Change a Light" program, however, they are also discussing the positive environmental effect created by the use of energy-efficient appliances and materials.

"We are challenging South Dakotans to use energy-saving devices, such as compact fluorescent lights, not only to save money, but also to save energy," explained Commissioner Gary Hanson.  "Less energy used is less energy produced, which amounts to a better environment for us all. Consider the substantial impact on our environment if all 300,629 South Dakota households accepted our challenge," he said.

Oct. 4 has been proclaimed "Change a Light Day" by Gov. Mike Rounds. The Change a Light, Change the World campaign is an annual effort promoted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Visit the South Dakota PUC Web site at for more energy saving advice.



Washington Elementary School is located at 106 S. Monroe Ave. in Pierre.

Lowell Elementary School is located at 710 W. 18th St. in Sioux Falls.

The following chart may be used as a sidebar or illustration to this news release. Please cite the source listed with the chart.

Guide to selecting compact fluorescent light bulbs

Comparable Wattage of CFLs and Incandescents

Incandescent Wattage

CFL Wattage















Source: A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

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