Energy Contest

Sign up today for the Winona County Energy Contest! The countywide contest is intended to support Winona County residents in saving energy and reducing their energy costs. The contest is open to all Winona County residents.

What: Contest participants will work to complete energy saving actions to earn points, like upgrading light bulbs or sealing air leaks. The full list of actions is below.

Who: Residents can compete individually or as part of a team. For teams, the point totals for all team members will be added up and divided by the number of participants on the team to find the team’s average score. Teams and individuals compete directly. Prizes will be awarded to the individuals with the highest scores or the teams with the highest average scores.

Prizes: 1st = $1000, 2nd = $500, 3rd = $250, and $250 to a randomly-selected participant (team or individual) who gets more than 200 points.

When: The contest will run from March 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018. Sign up to participate at any time!

How: First, sign up for the contest by completing the form below or emailing us at

Then, report actions you’ve taken by filling out the form at or by emailing While some actions require explicit proof (like a photo of an energy bill), this contest operates on the honor system. However, we reserve the right to ask for verification that you’ve completed any or all actions.

Sign up today and see the full list of actions below.

Energy Contest Actions

20 pts – Make an Energy Conservation Plan.

5 pts – Every time you complete one of the actions below, send us a picture showing your handiwork and you’ll get 5 additional points.

5 pts – Every time you complete one of the actions below, let your friends on Facebook and Twitter know. Send us a link or screenshot of the post to get 5 extra points.

10 pts – Hang your laundry to dry, rather than using an electric dryer. Points each time you hang laundry out to dry.

10 pts – Tell a friend about this contest. Points each time a friend signs up based on your recommendation.

15 pts – Install low-flow showerhead. Points for each showerhead installed.  >> Find the best one for your home

15 pts – Adjust your computer’s power management settings to reduce energy use.  >> Step-by-step instructions

20 pts – Replace existing non-LED outdoor landscape lights with solar-powered outdoor landscape lights. Points for each light replaced.  >>  Make your landscape even greener!

25 pts – Reduce energy use for the current month below the same month last year. Points for each month. This action requires corresponding energy bills or other proof of reduction.

30 pts – Adjust water heater thermostat to 120°F.  >> Here’s how

30 pts – Commit to taking 5 minute showers.

30 pts – Commit to turning off lights when not in use.

30 pts – Plug electronics into a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.  >> Learn about the vampire sucking your energy and how to kill it

35 pts – Install low-flow faucet aerator. Points for each aerator installed.  >> See your options

40 pts – Turn your thermostat down two degrees in the winter.

40 pts – Turn your thermostat up two degrees in the summer.

50 pts – Commit to washing all your clothes in cold water.  >> Why it’s better for your clothes & the Earth!

50 pts – Get your heating system checked out and tuned up by a professional.

50 pts – Get your central A/C system checked out and tuned up by a professional.

50 pts – Insulate 80% of your electrical outlets and switches.  >>  Improve your insulation!

50 pts – Install door sweeps/bottoms, weatherstripping, or caulking on all doors to the outside.

50 pts – Install caulking or weatherstripping around drafty windows.

60 pts – Replace 85% of household incandescent bulbs with CFLs and/or LEDs.  >>  Find deals on LEDs & recycle fluorescent/CFL bulbs at no cost

75 pts – Hire a professional to do a Home Performance Audit of your home.  >>  Audit options for Xcel Energy customers

80 pts – Replace an older dishwasher (1996 or older) with an ENERGY STAR model.

80 pts – Upgrade an older window A/C unit (2001 or older) to an ENERGY STAR window A/C unit.  >>  A guide to picking your perfect window A/C unit

80 pts – Upgrade an older water heater (2001 or older) with a more efficient unit.  >>  Improve the efficiency of your house’s #2 energy hog!

90 pts – Upgrade an older furnace (1996 or older) with a more efficient unit.  >>  Ways to make buying a furnace more affordable

90 pts – Upgrade an older central A/C unit (2001 or older) with a more efficient unit.  >>  Take a look at the best & most efficient central A/C units here

90 pts – Install plastic window kits or window blankets to reduce air leaks during winter months.  >>  Are they worth it? Yes!

100 pts – Unplug and/or recycle your second refrigerator.  >>  Why you should bid farewell to your older, extra refrigerator

150 pts – Install additional insulation in your attic.  >>  Is now the right time to insulate your attic? Answer these questions to find out

150 pts – Greatest energy reductions (as % of use) over the course of the year. The individual or team who has reduced their energy use the most from 2016 to 2017 gets 150 points.