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Caulk and tape? Now that's savings!

Rescue in a Box

Who says Reliant Energy isn't helpful? Oh, wait, lots of people, especially this guy. Sorry...

But hey, wait! As you may have heard, Reliant Energy has started offering "Energy Savings Kits" to customers who apply for electric bill assistance. These newfangled kits are also being sent to social services agencies in greater Houston.

I actually received a package from Reliant at the office the other day. Relieved to finally get one that wasn't ticking, I opened and found — ah! — an Energy Savings Kit. Were they looking for publicity, or had they just been reading up on journalism salaries?

No telling, but I had to dig in. It was like Christmas (or at very least, Groundhog Day)! The starter kit boasts a new "fluorescent light bulb that saves individuals a ton of money; approximately $40 is the average savings per bill," says the info. The kit also includes caulking paste, window tape (insulation) and tips for saving energy — in English and Spanish. Bilingual! And, the box is cardboard, so I can recycle it and save the earth. Let's see the tree huggers at Green Mountain Energy come up with that!

The kits are available to seniors, homeowners and renters. As someone who lives in a home and enjoys energy, I'm giddy. Now, when faced with a $762 a/c bill in February, I can simply open my kit, slap some window tape on my broken windows and caulk my...um, things that need caulking. And I'll sleep better (outside, because it's cooler) knowing that the sole light bulb in my home that I use to read — and cook — with is saving me two Jacksons a year.

So rejoice, energy suckers. Hope has arrived, and it's in a brown box marked "Reliant." It'll be right next to your disconnection notice for service that you didn't order for an address you haven't lived at for a year. — Steven Devadanam

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