By Rachael Purtell
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation will distribute 10,000 LED energy-saving lightbulbs to low-to-moderate-income families in Ulster County through their Community Lighting Program through agencies supported by Ulster County United Way and other community service organizations.
According to a press release from Central Hudson, “LED bulbs are designed to reduce electricity used for lighting by 80 percent while producing the same brightness. By lowering energy use, each LED bulb is estimated to save households an average of $3.85 per year, and with an expected life span of more than 22 years, provide a total lifetime savings of $88 each.”
Each eligible household may receive up to eight lightbulbs, which equates to a potential $700 in savings over the life of the bulbs. Low-to-moderate-income residents are defined as individuals or families whose household income is less than 115 percent of the median income for the area when adjusted for the size of the family.
John Maserjian, spokesperson for Central Hudson, said that this program is predicted to have a significant impact both environmentally and economically.
“The estimated savings for all 10,000 LED lights distributed by the program, based on a daily use of three hours per day for their entire 22-year lifespan, is approximately $800,000, as compared to incandescent lights,” he said. “The CO2 emissions saved over the same 22-year time period is approximately three to four tons.”
Stacey Rein, president of Ulster United Way, said that many Ulster County residents are eligible for this program.
“Most people who contact United Way are economically disadvantaged, we think the population is the correct population being served,” she said.
Additionally, eligible households must be served by participating United Way chapters or other community service agencies involved in the distribution. These organizations include Family Services, Astor Services, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Hudson Valley Cooperative, Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Shandaken Food Pantry, New Paltz Family Health Center, Ulster County Community Action, Ulster County Healthy Families, Phillies Bridge Project and Catholic Charities.
Eligible families can learn how to receive these lightbulbs by calling their agencies directly or by contacting Su Marcy, vice president of Ulster United Way at 845-331-4199 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kim Kochem of the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region at 845-471-1900 ext. 3122 or email@example.com.