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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich’s Keep Warm Illinois campaign announces energy workshops will be held at Menards statewide on Saturday
Workshops will offer consumers tips to weatherize their homes and will give away 10,000 free ENERGY STAR thermostats to help reduce energy costs ; Keep Warm Illinois Toll-Free Hotline 1-877-411-WARM now available

CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to inform and educate Illinois residents about rapidly rising energy prices, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an important partnership that will provide vital home weatherization and energy conservation information at hardware stores throughout the state.  On Saturday, November 19th, Menards retail stores will host Keep Warm Illinois Day where, throughout the day, consumers can ask the experts how they can utilize many readily available practices and products to reduce their home energy bills.  People can now also call the Keep Warm Illinois hotline, 1-877-411-WARM, for information about energy conservation, energy assistance or to find a home energy savings workshop near them.  The hotline is available Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.  
 
“It’s important to get a head start on winter and take steps to prepare for higher energy bills, whether you dial down the thermostat or take easy steps to weatherize your home.  Illinois residents have access to workshops throughout the state at Menards stores and local community college where you can learn new tips to ensure your energy bill is more affordable,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
The events will take place at all of the 48 Menards locations across Illinois as part of the Governor’s Keep Warm Illinois campaign.  A full listing of the workshop times and locations is available at www.KeepWarm.Illinois.gov or call 1-877-411-WARM.  Designated Menards team members will offer workshops with tips for consumers on home weatherization and energy conservation.  At least 10,000 free ENERGY STAR programmable thermostats (a $25 to $29 value) will be given to workshop participants,
                                                                                    (more)
as long as supplies last.  Programmable thermostats are an easy, immediate step homeowners can take to save approximately 3 percent on their energy costs for every degree the thermostat is lowered, with an average of $100 savings in the first year of use. 
 
“Menards is proud to be a participant with Gov. Blagojevich’s Keep Warm Illinois winter savings promotion.  It is an honor to be able to offer free programmable thermostats to the residents of Illinois to offset their rising heating costs, especially this year when they are projected to be at a record high,” said Dan Sweeney, Electrical Buyer at Menards.
 
In addition to the Menards events, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has also scheduled dozens of energy savings workshops at community colleges throughout the state.  Coupons for the free programmable thermostats will also be distributed at these events.  To learn more about these workshops or tips to save energy, visit www.KeepWarm.Illinois.gov or call the Keep Warm Illinois hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.
 
“The winter heating season will likely bring much higher heating bills, and Gov. Blagojevich has launched workshops throughout the state to ensure Illinois residents can easily make their bills more affordable,” said DCEO Director Jack Lavin.  “Gov. Blagojevich and I encourage all Illinoisans – especially senior citizens and those with lower incomes – to attend a workshop and learn how to keep warm this winter while saving money.”
 
The 48 Menard stores taking part in the Keep Warm Illinois Day include:
 

City                             Address

Batavia             300 North Randall Road
Bolingbrook                 290 North Bolingbrook Drive
Bradley                        1260 Christine Drive
Bridgeview                   9140 South Harlem Avenue
Carpentersville            2303 Randall Road
Champaign                  620 Town Center Boulevard
Chicago                      2601 North Clyborne Avenue
Chicago                      4626 Diversy Avenue
Crestwood                  13120 Rivercrest Drive
Crystal Lake                4850 Route 14
Danville                        36 East West Newell Road
Dolton                          14975 Lincoln Avenue
Effingham                     1100 Avenue of Mid-America
Elgin                             825 South Randall Road
Forsyth             1450 Koester Drive
Fox Lake                1400 South US Highway 12
Freeport                      1211 West Galena Avenue
Glendale Heights            521 East North Avenue
Gurnee                         6401 Grand Avenue
Hanover Park               900 Irving Park Road
Hillside             101 North Wolf Road  #4
Hoffman Estates            2300 West Higgins Road
Homewood                  17545 Halsted Street
Joliet                            2450 West Jefferson Street
Kewanee                     157 West South
Lombard                      1000-32 Rowling Road
 Machesney Park            10253 North 2nd Street
Matteson                    21630 Cicero Avenue
Melrose Park              8311 West North Avenue
Moline                          4100 10th Street Drive
Morton Grove               6301 Oakton Street
Mt. Prospect                     740 East Randall Road
Mundelein                    120 Oak Creek Plaza
Naperville                    715 Fort Hill Drive
Normal             200 North Greenbriar Drive
Palatine                        1775 North Rand Road
Pekin                            3535 Court Street
Peoria                          2211 West Pioneer Parkway
Peru                             5353 Mahoney Drive
Rockford                     2001 South Perryville Road
Schaumburg                 2300 West Higgins Road
Skokie                         6001 Oakton Street
Springfield                    3325 S. Veterans Parkway
Sterling             3800 East Lincolnway
Sycamore                   1825 Mercantile Drive
Tinley Park                 6851 159th Street
West Chicago                      220 West North Avenue
Yorkville                      1800 Marketview Drive
 
Gov. Blagojevich launched the comprehensive Keep Warm Illinois campaign in response to the spike in energy prices that is affecting consumers nationwide.  State agencies are coordinating their efforts to ensure Illinois residents have the information and resources they need to better manage their home energy costs.  Efforts include the Web site, www.KeepWarm.Illinois.gov, that offers energy saving tips, a web-based tool to conduct home energy audits, information on energy assistance programs and schedules for home weatherization and energy assistance events.  Residents can also call the Keep Warm Illinois hotline at 1-877-411-WARM to learn how to conserve energy and apply for energy assistance.  To ensure that Illinoisans have the assistance they need with skyrocketing energy costs, Gov. Blagojevich also continues to call upon President Bush and Congressional leaders to approve additional federal funding for programs that help low-income families pay their utility bills and weatherize their homes.


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