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Bright idea: Hudson student launches LED promotion project - WCF Courier

Annalise Nehmer

Hudson High School senior Annalise Nehmer kneels next to her LED promotional project at Randall's Stop 'n Shop in Hudson. 

HUDSON – High school senior Annalise Nehmer spent the last year preparing to enlighten her community on a simple way to reduce utility costs.

If most businesses and homes changed to LED lights by 2027, the savings could total more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

When Nehmer discovered the savings and the positive environmental impact, she wanted to do more. She partnered with startup company LEDsave to promote the energy-saving light bulbs in her hometown of Hudson. Through the end of the week, Randall’s Stop ‘n Shop, 320 Fifth St. in Hudson, is hosting a display where customers can purchase LED bulbs and learn more about their benefits.

“I’m a pretty passionate person when it comes to the environment and reducing carbon footprints,” she said.

The promotional project, LEDsave Hudson, is a pilot program for the company’s LEDsave Brighter Communities program. LEDsave was founded by another Hudson native, Jack Worthington, a 2015 graduate of Hudson High School, with the University of Northern Iowa Pappajohn Small Business Development Center. The Brighter Communities program aims to partner with local students to promote LED lighting in various communities.

LEDsave Hudson

Hudson High School student Annalise Nehmer helps promote LED lighting for LEDsave, a company launched by fellow Hudson native Jack Worthington. 

The program includes an online survey, at www.ledsave.org/hudson, to help customers through the process of changing to LEDs. For each bulb, the customer must make five considerations before purchasing: shape, socket size, adjustability, wattage and color.

Nehmer chose to donate the extra funds for new playground equipment at St. Timothy’s Preschool & Childcare in Hudson. But when the pandemic hit, she decided promoting and delivering the products in person would be too risky. She quickly contacted Randall’s who agreed to let her sell the lights at the store.

Nehmer also overcame some personal hurdles.

“I was kind of shy in the beginning. I didn’t really like to go and talk to people. Doing sales pitches was not my favorite thing to do,” she said. “It was nice having Glynis there to support me and push me out of my comfort zone.

Worthington’s mother, Glynis Worthington, has served as a mentor for Nehmer.

“I just plain enjoy doing this,” said Glynis Worthington, who also serves on the resilience committee for the city of Cedar Falls. “[LED bulbs are] a low-hanging fruit of a very effective and efficient way to make change quickly as a community.”

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Nehmer conquered her fears of speaking in public as she presented her plan to members of St. Timothy’s, made a sales pitch to the owner of Randall’s and spoke to several news reporters.

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“The look of sheer terror and fear is no longer in her eyes,” Glynis said. “Just that first time going out and talking to someone is not easy.”

Glynis said she too learned from Nehmer.

The experience also shined a light on a career path for Nehmer, who will study marketing when she goes off to college next year. She has her hopes set on New York University.

Nehmer’s passion also led to changes in her home.

“We don’t buy as many plastic water bottles,” Nehmer said. “My family used to only buy plastic water bottles, and now we get reusable water bottles.”

She also takes shorter showers, does not leave water running unnecessarily and, of course, has begun the switch to LED bulbs in the home.

“We were all very surprised at how much money it could save you – seven dollars per year for just one light bulb,” Nehmer said, noting each home contains an average of 30 to 50 light bulbs.

Communities that are interested in participating in the LEDsave Brighter Communities program should contact jack@ledsave.org.

For more information, go to www.ledsave.org.

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