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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, October 16, 2005

Big crowd is turned on by energy saving

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Cody Harbottle, 2, and mom, Sun Ok Harbottle, of Pearl City, examine a display at the Live Energy Lite festival at Ala Moana Center. The event yesterday drew a larger crowd than last year.

JOAQUIN SIOPACK | The Honolulu Advertiser

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With utility costs on the increase and consumers looking to save money, Hawaiian Electric Co.'s second annual Live Energy Lite festival at Ala Moana Center drew 25,000 visitors.

"At least that many," said Sharon Higa, a HECO spokeswoman. "Quite a bit more than last year."

Games and coloring books kept children busy while adults took energy quizzes and checked out information on conserving power and water, as well as protecting reefs and native species.

"I got six out of seven," Gary Quiseng, resident manager at a Makiki condo, said after completing the quiz. He and wife Jenny, who manages a property in Waikiki, said they were exploring ways to cut utility costs.

Dan Ching, a HECO employee who administered quizzes, said most people missed a question that asked which three home appliances used the most electricity. Most people list clothes dryers at the top, Ching said., but water heaters, refrigerators or freezers and air conditioners are actually the largest users.

In addition to HECO, Malama Hawai'i, the Nature Conservancy, the Board of Water Supply, the state Division of Consumer Advocacy, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the federal Department of Energy were among participants in the festival held in the mall's CenterStage area.

HECO handed out dollar-off coupons for General Electric compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Derrick Sonoba, a HECO employee, had one of the bulbs and a regular bulb connected to an electric meter, showing how the regular bulb used voltage at twice the rate.

"We hope to get 100,000 CFL bulbs out there before the end of the year," Sonoba said.

"What could be easier than changing a light bulb?"

Reach Karen Blakeman at kblakeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.