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Residents challenged to create energy efficient holiday displays

BY: Kori Sciandra | November 17, 2012

TONAWANDA/KENMORE - Are you up to the challenge of saving money and energy, while creating a holiday display for your neighbors to see?

Ken-Ton officials are inviting residents to participate in the 2012 Holiday Decorating Contest, while doing so in a cost effective way.

The Village of Kenmore and The Town of Tonawanda will once again be hosting the annual Energy Efficient Holiday Lights Contest, and encourage residents to participate in this holiday event.

The challenge is to create a decorative scene or holiday light show at your home by using the least amount of energy possible.

The contest, which started approximately 10 years ago, began as a result of a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The grant encouraged residents to turn in their old lights in exchange for energy efficient lights to hang on their homes in order to save on costs.

Due to a lack of funding to launch future energy efficient incentives, NYSERDA no longer offers that grant to the town. However, in the efforts to continue saving costs, the Town of Tonawanda Environment Commission looked decided to make it their mission to keep this contest going each year.

“The town has always had a lighting contest,” said Lynn Diagostino, a member of the Town of Tonawanda Environment Commission. “I have been involved with this for the last four years and after NYSERDA stopped its involvement we [the commission] decided we wanted to keep it going.”

Diagostino said each year their about 15 to 20 residents in the Ken-Ton area that participate in the contest each year, but they really want more residents to participate.

She added that each member of the commission will be carrying information and applications with them in their vehicles as they travel through the town and village, so that they can help get the contest information out to the public as soon as possible.

With the assistance of the Town Police Club, the Holiday Decorating Contest will be judged in six different categories:

• Environmental Efficiency

• Most Creative Display

• Best Classic Display

• Best Themed Display

• The Most Holiday Spirit

• The “WOW” Factor

In order to place in one of these categories and receive a prize, residents are encouraged to decorate their homes using energy efficient decorations that require little or no electricity. Recommended forms of lighting are LED light strands, rope lights that save on energy costs.

“The cost of energy keeps going up every year,” said Diagostino. “This will help residents save on their energy costs.”

For those residents who wish to enter the contest, applications are due by Dec. 7, 2012 and can be found online at www.tonawanda.ny.us or in the Town of Tonawanda Supervisor’s office in the Municipal Building at 2919 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217.

Judging will take place the evening of Dec. 10, and winners will be announced at the Dec. 17 town board meeting

For additional information, contact Diagostino at 998-3448.

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