TXU Energy Announces Grand Prize Winner of Power Saver Challenge

Harlingen-area family awarded $30,000 cash after competing with other Texas homeowners to improve their home energy efficiency


TXU Energy, a leader in energy-efficiency solutions, today announced the $30,000 grand prize winner of the TXU Energy Power Saver Challenge is a family of five from Rancho Viejo, Texas. The Hinojosa family was selected based on the improvement of their HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index, Web votes, ingenuity and problem solving and behavior changes.

The Hinojosa's made excellent energy-saving choices as finalists using the $5,000 provided by TXU Energy. One of the most significant changes was the purchase and installation of a new highly-efficient HVAC system, especially considering that HVAC usage typically accounts for approximately 55 percent of a homeowner's annual electric bill. The family also installed new thermal attic installation, a choice considered one of the most important steps in residential energy conservation, and changed from incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs.

Just as importantly, the Hinojosa's made significant changes to their lifestyle that will help improve their energy efficiency, now and in the future. This included unplugging small appliances and electronics when not in use, turning off lights and ceiling fans when leaving a room, and keeping blinds closed during the hottest time of day.
The TXU Energy Power Saver Challenge (www.txu.com/powersaverchallenge) was designed to encourage Texans to discover and share new ways to manage energy consumption and costs, empowering them to save electricity and money.  It drew more than 1,500 entries from homeowners in Texas who described how they hoped to make their homes more energy efficient. From these, 15 semi-finalists were selected to submit either a video essay or a written essay combined with photos on home energy conservation themes.

Three contest finalists representing different geographic regions in Texas each won an HD video camera, a $5,000 cash fund to use for home energy improvements, a comprehensive in-home energy audit with energy-saving recommendations, and the opportunity to win the $30,000 cash grand prize. Their home audits and energy improvements were videotaped and displayed at www.txu.com/powersaverchallenge, where members of the public voted for their favorite. The grand prize winner was selected based on a combination of Web voting, improvement in each contestant's HERS Index rating, ingenuity and problem solving, and energy-saving behavior changes. The HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System), established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), is a rating system that estimates the energy efficiency of any home using predetermined values.  The HERS Index is rapidly becoming the standard by which new homes are built, existing homes are represented during sale, and homes of all ages are evaluated for energy efficiency.

Homeowners who didn't participate in the TXU Energy Power Saver Challenge can still conduct their own home energy audit using a new online tool that enables homeowners to simulate how a variety of home energy improvements could impact their home energy efficiency and their energy bill.  The TXU Energy Power Saver Challenge Simulator (www.txu.com/powersaverchallenge) allows homeowners to virtually apply a variety of energy-saving options and see how those changes could impact an average home built in the same decade as their own. 

Examples of energy-saving options that can be evaluated on the site include:  converting to CFL light bulbs, caulking windows, installing new heating/air conditioning systems and many more. Once the homeowner determines the changes their budget allows, they can also find information on the site about energy-saving tips and online appliance calculators.

MEDIA NOTE: To schedule an interview with the homeowner to learn about how the family embraced energy conservation and the changed behaviors they have incorporated into their daily routine, please call Sophia Stoller @ 214-549-4518.

About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2.1 million electricity customers in Texas.  TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services.  Visit www.txuenergy.com for more information about TXU Energy. TXU Energy Retail Company LLC. REP # 10004