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Waitaki Power Trust trustees John Clements (left) and Herb Tonkin show off the Ecobulbs the trust is giving away this weekend. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

A Waitaki Power Trust initiative could save customers up to $5 million over the next 10 years.

The trust, which owns Network Waitaki, is giving away five free LED ecobulbs to each Waitaki household this weekend.

Ecobulbs lasted up to 30 years and used up to 90% less power than inefficient bulbs, Waitaki Power Trust chairman John Clements said.

“The average North Otago home could save up to $850 on their power bills over the next 10 years simply by swapping five of their most frequently used, inefficient light bulbs,” Mr Clements said.

Most households should have received a voucher for five free ecobulbs in the post but, if not, they could bring in their most recent power bill in to get the deal.

Mr Clements said the promotion showed the benefits of having a community-owned lines company.

“This business model was adopted in 1993 and [the community] has reaped the benefits of one of the cheapest power bills in the country, as well as .. future-proofing the ability to supply irrigators and new businesses.”

Ecobulb managing director Chris Mardon said the aim of the initiative was to save enough electricity to power New Zealand for one year.

“Ultimately, we want to replace every single one of the 31 million inefficient light bulbs in New Zealand homes with ecobulb LEDs.

“This would save New Zealanders $570 million per year on their power bills.”

In Oamaru, the free bulbs are being handed out today and tomorrow, from 9am to 5pm, at the Scottish Hall in Tyne St.

If that did not suit, people could give their voucher to a neighbour or friend to collect the bulbs for them.

Free ecobulbs will also be available for pick-up tomorrow at the Hampden Memorial Hall in London St and the Kurow Memorial Hall in Gordon St, between 9am and 4pm.