DEARBORN (WWJ) — Energy-efficient living doesn’t have to mean deprivation or huge expense.

A raft of corporations, including Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. and Whirlpool Corp., are helping a Colorado family prove that.

Lindsay and Ben Sattler of Parker, Colo. are the winners of the Ford-led “MyEnergi Lifestyle Retrofit” contest, designed to show how a typical American family can affordably and comfortably move into a sustainable, energy-efficient lifestyle.

Ben Sattler teaches alternative fuels and home energy efficiency courses to inner-city school children, while Lindsay ensures the Sattlers keep a sustainable home life. As the second winners of a MyEnergi Lifestyle retrofit, the Sattlers will receive a grand prize package enabling them to integrate today’s plug-in vehicle technology, smart appliances and solar energy into their home to reduce their electricity bills and carbon emissions.

In May, Susan Berry of Ventura, Calif., won a MyEnergi Lifestyle giveaway on the “Katie” show.

Mike Tinskey, global director of vehicle electrification and infrastrucutre for Ford, said the Sattler family should see up to a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and a 55 percent reduction in its CO2 emissions with the prize package, which includes a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid car.

Also included are energy-efficient home appliances, and renewable energy and power management gear from Whirlpool and other partners Eaton, SunPower, Infineon and NestLabs.

“Winning the MyEnergi Lifestyle Retrofit contest is truly life-changing for us,” Lindsay Sattler said. “Now, we have the freedom to bless others with the money we’re saving, and more opportunities to live out what my husband teaches to his students.”

Thousands of families entered the nationwide contest. The Sattlers won on the strength of an essay Lindsay wrote detailing the family’s passion for sustainability and what they do to live an energy-efficient lifestyle.

“We are always trying to find new ways we can use less energy and save more money to make life a little more enjoyable,” Lindsay wrote.

Energy-saving technologies have advanced as Americans’ energy use has increased. In 1930, the average American home used 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity; today, the figure is 11,000 – an increase of 2,100 percent. The MyEnergi Lifestyle initiative demonstrates how a typical American family can optimize its energy output.

MyEnergi Lifestyle works by leveraging technology so key energy-consuming devices in a home use less energy, while also shifting energy usage to less expensive periods.

The Sattlers have won a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid vehicle; Eaton solar inverter, solar-ready load center with surge protection, electric vehicle supply equipment and generator; a five-kilowatt SunPower system; Nest learning thermostat; Powerhouse dynamic eMonitor; Whirlpool brand smart dishwasher, smart washer and dryer, smart refrigerator and hybrid heat pump water heater.

If every home in the country were to adopt a MyEnergi Lifestyle like the Sattlers are doing, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas off the power grid. That’s 32 million homes.

Ford’s new C-Max Energi is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle with a starting price of $29,995.


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