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February 8, 2017
For Release: Immediately
Central Hudson Continues Community Lighting Program To Benefit Vulnerable Families

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation will continue to provide high efficiency LED light bulbs to qualified needy local families at no cost under its Community Lighting Program. The energy company first launched the program in the fall of 2016 by distributing 10,000 LED light bulbs through agencies supported by local United Way chapters, and will offer an additional 10,000 bulbs to families in 2017.

“Our Community Lighting program was a great success in 2016, and we’re delighted to extend the program this year through a special purchase of additional LED light bulbs,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Transmission & Distribution at Central Hudson. “These high efficiency bulbs will help families manage their energy bills. This program is one way we’re assisting our most vulnerable customers in becoming more energy efficient.”

LED bulbs use 80 percent less electricity than do incandescent lamps while producing the same amount of light. 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 a maximum of six lights, for a total potential combined savings of more than $500 over the life of the bulbs.

“Using LED bulbs also provide environmental benefits,” said Freni. He explained that the 10,000 lamps distributed in 2016 will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 230 tons each year, or the equivalent emissions of using more than 25,000 gallons of gasoline. Over the life of these lamps, emissions will be reduced by more than 5,000 tons, or the equivalent of using more than 550,000 gallons of gasoline, with the potential to double these benefits by the additional distribution of 10,000 light bulbs in 2017.

Eligible households must be served by participating agencies supported by the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region or the Ulster County United Way, or by other participating community service organizations offering programs that serve low- to moderate-in­come community members. Nearly 20 organizations distributed LED lights during 2016, and additional agencies are also enrolling in the program. Recipients must meet agency qualifications and be a customer of Central Hudson.

Kimberly Kochem, Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region said, “This program has been embraced by our community; this excitement has helped us distribute LED light bulbs to our neighbors in need.” Annette Sullivan, Executive Assistant to the President at the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region added, “Everyone has been very thankful for the light bulbs they received and is very grateful to Central Hudson for making this possible. They are looking forward to the savings and the fact that the light bulbs will last a long time.” Pat Kellett, Director of Grants Administration and River Haven Programs at Hudson River Housing, said, “Central Hudson’s community light bulb distribution program provides residents with immediate savings and inspires them to look at other potential savings throughout their homes. Plus, it’s good for the environment.”

Eligible families may learn where to obtain the free LED lights by calling their service agency directly or by contacting Su Marcy of the United Way of Ulster County at (845) 331-4199, sumarcy@ulsterunitedway.org, or Kim Kochem of the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region at (845) 471-1900 ext. 3122, kkochem@uwdor.org. Additional community service organizations interested in distributing lights may contact Michael Lauchaire of Central Hudson at mlauchaire@cenhud.com.

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Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation will continue to provide high efficiency LED light bulbs in 2017 to qualified needy local families at no cost under its Community Lighting Program through agencies supported by local United Way chapters. Pictured above from left to right are Kimberly Kochem, Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region; Elizabeth Spira, CEO of Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County; Mary Marshall, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County; Teresa Paino, CFO of Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County; Theresa Giovanniello, Deputy Commissioner of Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services; Brian Jones, Outreach Coordinator for Dutchess County Office for the Aging; and Pat Kellett, Director of Grants Administration and River Haven Programs at Hudson River Housing.