Evanston-area residents who signed up for a free online service that helps people slash their utility bills were among 25 Illinois consumers to receive a big reward: free electricity for a month, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced Thursday.

Earlier this year, CUB, Illinois’ leading consumer watchdog group, held a drawing of people who joined the service, CUBenergysaver.com, during Earth Month. Twenty-five people were randomly selected, including Evanston resident Barbara Sykes: CUB paid her $50 bill. 

“Fantastic!” wrote Ms. Sykes on her win. “CUB Energy Saver’s an easy-to-use and effective tool to help you determine how to conserve energy, reduce your carbon footprint and save money. It’s a great way to make a difference in the world.”

Managed by CUB and the software firm C3, based in Redwood City, Cal., the free service allows ComEd customers to sign up and connect their account to the online tool to track electricity savings. Users build a money-saving plan for their homes from among hundreds of efficiency actions. They receive two points for every kilowatt-hour they reduce their electric bills and can cash those points in for restaurant and shopping discounts.

“It’s great CUB Energy Saver rewarded some consumers with a month of free electricity, but all who join the free service are winners because they cut their utility bills,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Energy efficiency has a big payoff for our planet and our pocketbooks.”