Love Small Town America

LoveSmallTownAmerica: Welcome to our Community. is your resource for small welcoming communities across America for finding the best small towns to live in.

Quinter, KS : Community News

Quinter claims long-term energy contest
Published on -6/13/2010, 8:50 PM

With the turn of a light bulb — hundreds of them in fact — Quinter was able to climb to the top in the year-long Take Charge Challenge put together by the Climate and Energy Project.

Merriam was the grand prize winner for the greatest energy savings, but Quinter came out on top for the most long-term savings -- more than 200 kilowatt hours per person.

Both communities will be rewarded for the savings, in the form of either a wind turbine for a local school, solar panel for a community building or cash for a civic energy efficiency project.

In Quinter's case, the school already has a turbine.

Much of Quinter's savings will be on the backs of energy efficient light bulbs -- 2,400 of them in fact.

The savings are enough to light 122 homes for a full year, according to a statement issued by the Climate project, part of the Salina-based Land Institute.

The Take Charge Challenge pitted communities against each other in terms of producing energy savings.

In addition to Merriam and Quinter, other communities included Kinsley, Mount Hope/Haven, Salina and Wellington.

Both Quinter and Kinsley utilized Midwest Energy's How$mart project to make whole-home energy efficiency efforts. In both communities, 75 residents and small businesses took advantage of the How$mart energy audit program.

According to Midwest Energy, How$mart improvements generally result in annual savings of 2,100 kilowatt hours for each customer — savings that amount to about $150 to $200 a year for a typical family.

The idea of How$mart is to pay for energy efficiency improvements through the savings that are realized. Midwest Energy conducts audits to determine how much might be saved.

During the course of the year-long campaign, the towns:

  • Saved more than 6 million kilowatt hours of electricity and took steps locking in future savings of more than 7 million kilowatt hours per year.
  • Switched over 50,000 bulbs to compact florescent light bulbs and distributed hundreds of weatherization kits and energy-saving power strips.
  • Installed more than 1,000 programmable thermostats and more than 200 energy efficient appliances in their homes.
  • Donated 2,600 hours volunteer time to host 65 community events promoting energy efficiency and conservation that were attended by over 11,000 people.