Challenged to suggest a creative summer energy savings tip, Penny Furda of Garrettsville, Ohio, decided to implement “No Tech Thursdays” in her full household, and her suggestion led to her crowning as Lennox’ newest “Energy Savings Superstar.”

The Lennox “Energy Savings Superstar” Contest offered an opportunity for consumers to think about how they spend their time and energy, and suggest simple but creative solutions for saving money on their energy bills during the steamy summer months. Furda’s idea — putting away computers, cell phones and television one night of the week to focus on the family — capitalizes on the extended summer daylight, creates an escape from the hold that electronic devices can have on families and creates opportunities for more quality time with her children and grandchildren. Instead of staring at screens, the Furda family spends time playing board games and cooking outdoors on the grill. The elimination of technology devices on Thursday nights has become a Furda family tradition and is exactly the type of energy-saving advice Lennox Industries (, a leading provider of innovative home comfort solutions, was looking for when it launched the North American contest, which ran throughout the summer.

“The recent Lennox Home Energy Report Card survey indicated that 51 percent of homeowners gave themselves a ‘B’ in energy efficiency, and 26 percent of homeowners ranked themselves as average with a ‘C,’ indicating there is room for improvement when it comes to energy savings. We launched the Energy Savings Superstar contest to encourage consumers to think about their energy usage, and look for simple ways to have fun while saving on their summer energy bills,” said Jennifer Franz, energy efficiency expert at Lennox. “This year, we received hundreds of innovative, creative submissions; however, Penny Furda suggested a relatable tip that can be easily implemented in any household wanting to save money and energy and create an opportunity for more family time. The Furda family can rest easy knowing they are receiving world-class Lennox products that will maximize their energy savings and will keep them cool for many summers to come.”

In order to qualify to win the contest, entrants had to describe their energy-saving tip in 1000 characters or less, as well as a photo demonstrating their tip. The more creative and action-oriented the tip and photo, the better. As the grand prize winner, Penny Furda will receive: $10,000 in Lennox cooling, heating and indoor air quality equipment (including installation);  A one-year supply of ice cream and four tickets to a water park near her home

During the duration of the contest, July 1 through August 31, hundreds of contestants submitted their tips along with photos of their tips in action via the Lennox Energy Savings Superstar Contest Website. Participants were encouraged to be clear, creative and above all, have fun with it. Lennox selected four finalists to compete in a head-to-head public vote on the company’s website from Sept. 14-20, to determine the grand prize winner.

The three additional finalists included:

“Energy-efficient recipe for clean dogs:

Ingredients: 10-20 gallons rain barrel water. A few squirts of liquid soap. Smelly dogs.

Instructions:  Mix 6-8 gallons of rain barrel water in a tub with liquid soap till sudsy. Add smelly dogs. Lather, then rinse with remaining water.”

– Mary Rike [Charlottesville, VA]

“Living in Florida, we know the importance of conserving energy. Our energy saving tip is to minimize the use of indoor heat-producing kitchen appliances, such as the oven/stove, and take your cooking outdoors. By doing so, you will avoid a “sunburn” on your home cooling system. We cook Friday and Saturday’s dinner at once on our outdoor grill! Our little chef Sarah is happy to help Daddy reduce energy usage and a cook a delicious meal.”

– Kelly Schooley [Jacksonville, FL]

“Pay yourself first, your energy ‘tip:’ When you forget the lightswitch to flip. An energy tip jar shows that you care. A quarter reminds you to be self-aware. Every clink that you hear, as it drops in the slot. Is an energy nudge — you can sure save a lot. Small things add up, and you’ll swear it’s a way. To bring about change, in a fun-loving way!”

– Richard Rike [Charlottesville, VA]

Furda’s tip garnered the most votes on the Lennox website during the designated voting period, topping Rike, Schooley and Rike to become the official Lennox “Energy Savings Superstar.”