Up to $900 of free electricity is top prize as Evanston’s Presence Saint Francis Hospital participates in a competition with nine other hospitals to help homes go green and relieve the pain of high air-conditioning bills, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced Wednesday.

The Presence Health Energy-Saver Competition is one step in a larger green campaign that last year saved more than $8 million for the Presence Health system. The competition – a collaboration of Presence Health, its “Inspirement Program,” and CUB – aims to help hospital employees and the larger community take green habits home by using CUBenergysaver.com.

CUB’s free, online energy-efficiency service has been showing people how
to cut their home utility bills by more than $100 a year.

The contest is a good fit for Presence Health’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint while maintaining the highest quality of medical care, organizers say. They hope energy-saving actions employees take at home will spark the same types of actions at the hospitals.

“Going green is contagious,” said Stuart Hampson, director of facilities management at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago and co-chair of the system’s green and sustainability council. “What we learn at home we can implement at work and vice versa. To be able to monitor your energy consumption routinely and research ways to reduce your energy bill is very important to us.” For more information visit www.presencehealth.org.