As winter approaches and the weather gets colder, most households will turn up their heat.
But a group of local residents will refrain from adjusting their thermostats to the colder temperatures in an effort to conserve energy and earn a few beers in the process.
Carrboro resident Daniel Amoni is hosting a contest with a group of friends to see who can keep their heat off the longest. The challenge began in early October and will run until Dec. 21, the first day of winter, Amoni said.
“I just came up with the idea because it was starting to get chilly a couple weeks ago and I thought, ‘You know, how can I prevent myself from turning on the heat?’” Amoni said.
The contest has only one stipulation — the households that can’t handle the cold must buy the winning contestants a six-pack of locally brewed beer.
Amoni said environmental concerns prompted him to establish the contest.
“I don’t like the idea of burning coal to heat my house, so mainly the environmental impact was behind the whole idea,” said Amoni.
Amoni said he thinks the prize of locally brewed beer for the winning households will keep the contest interesting.
“I was trying to think of something that is locally made and an attractive thing to keep you going without heat,” said Amoni. “Beer seemed like a pretty good prize.”
The contest includes Amoni’s household and eight others in the area.
Contestant and fellow Carrboro resident Pablo Valencia said he thinks the challenge will be an interesting, fun approach to becoming more environmentally conscious.
“I share the idea that Daniel has, and it’s a great effort to save energy and be careful with the use of natural resources,” Valencia said.
He said he hopes the contest will gain attention from other residents and become an annual event.
“I think that this would be an extremely positive contest to have every year, and we could have more folks be part of it,” Valencia said. “That would be great for the community.”
Duke Energy spokesman Jason Walls said there are several ways to lower heating costs during the winter.
“The average household spends about $97 per month on energy needs,” Walls said.
Walls said checking air filters monthly and replacing them when they appear dirty is one way to try to keep your heating bill below this average.
Leaving the thermostat on the lowest comfortable setting and reducing the temperature when no one is home are also methods to conserve energy.
Amoni and Valencia both said they hope to come out as winners of the competition and that the beer will be well worth enduring a few months of cold.
“I’m probably going to get some Duck-Rabbit Stout,” Amoni said. “That’s a good winter beer.”
Valencia said he prefers darker beer.
“Hopefully I will win a few sixpacks,” he said.
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