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From left, LineTrust South Canterbury chairman Grant Eames, Energy Mad managing director Chris Mardon, LTSC trustee Karen McCrostie, Alpine Energy general manager commerical and regulatory Sara Carter, LTSC trustees Peter Binns and Brett King. Rollout of eco bulb giveaway

by Claire Allison

South Canterbury residents are in line for free lightbulbs.

LineTrust South Canterbury is rolling out a project this week that will involve 18,600 homes receiving a voucher from the trust to get five free new-generation Ecobulb LED energy-saving lightbulbs.

The bulbs last up to 30 years and use up to 90% less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.

LineTrust South Canterbury chairman Grant Eames said the average South Canterbury home could save up to $900 on their power bills over the next 10 years by swapping five of their most frequently used lightbulbs to Ecobulb LEDs.

Residents can exchange their voucher for any combination of five ecobulbs – worth up to about $200 – including dimmable and halogen replacement bulbs, and a screw-in retrofit ecobulb downlight, which reduces heating and cooling costs by sealing the air gaps found in traditional incandescent downlights.

Tomorrow and Saturday, people can redeem their voucher for free bulbs at the Southern Trust Events Centre at Aorangi Park. Ecobulbs will also be available to collect from locations in Fairlie, Geraldine, Temuka, Twizel and Waimate.

Alpine Energy general manager, commercial and regulatory, Sara Carter said Alpine’s network was nearly at capacity, so efforts to reduce usage were supported by the lines company.

Energy Mad managing director Chris Mardon said the South Canterbury project was being watched with interest.

“If we get this right, we want to roll this out across the country, and change all 31 million inefficient bulbs, and then we’d be able to get rid of Huntly [power station].”