GRAND RAPIDS — Consumers Energy is donating 100,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to help struggling families save energy and money.
The utility’s Residential Energy Savings Solutions program is providing families with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs as part of their weekly food packages distributed by Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank through local food pantries.
Consumers Energy and Feeding America are working together to distribute 100,000 bulbs to income qualified west and northern Michigan families to help them save energy in their homes and money on their electric bills.
Approximately 25,000 bulbs will be distributed this summer at Feeding America’s Comstock Park warehouse, near Grand Rapids, while 75,000 bulbs will be distributed later this year out of the group’s Cadillac area warehouse. Each family will receive a package of two CFLs, along with information on the bulb’s benefits and other energy saving tips.
Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 14, local food pantries will begin distributing the CFLs from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank’s Comstock Park warehouse. Families who do not receive assistance through the participating food pantries can purchase discounted CFLs at more than 275 stores across Michigan through Consumers Energy’s Savings Solutions program. To locate participating stores, visit www.consumersnergy.com/eeprograms.
“CFLs are an easy way for families to cut energy costs and focus their resources on other needs,” said Patti Poppe, the utility’s vice president of customer experience and operations. “We know in these tough economic times it’s important to help our neighbors. Our work with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank makes this a great fit.”
Linda Vanderbaan, fund development manager for Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, was very appreciative of Consumers Energy’s assistance.
“This gift of compact fluorescent light bulbs will help our families stretch their budgets a little further and hopefully direct the money saved by putting a meal on the table,” she said.
The CFLs are distributed by EarthTronics, a Muskegon-based company, which is part of Consumers Energy’s continued support of the Pure Michigan Business Connect program. Under the program, Consumers Energy is increasing its business with Michigan companies by more than $250 million over the next five years, in addition to the $2 billion annually it now spends in the state.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with Consumers Energy and Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to make this program possible,” said Kevin Youngquist, vice president of EarthTronics. “Our business model is to create high quality products that provide real energy savings. What a fantastic opportunity to benefit our friends and neighbors in Michigan with these savings.”
Energy Star qualified CFLs can last up to 10,000 hours or nine years. They produce 75 percent less heat than traditional bulbs, making them safer to operate and more energy efficient – saving about $30 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulb.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
One of the nation’s largest and most effective food banks, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims edible surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and restaurants. It stores, processes and distributes the food through 1,300 local food pantries and other hunger relief agencies in 40 west Michigan counties. More than 100,000 west Michigan families rely on food from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.
For more information, visit: www.feedingamericawestmichigan.org