CHICAGO, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After more than a year of programming and translation, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) for the first time in its three-decade history is offering a comprehensive Spanish-language website, at www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org/Espanol, to better serve Illinois utility customers.
Efforts to reach out to the Spanish-speaking community increased about a decade ago, as CUB hired bilingual staff for its consumer hotline. As complaints by Spanish-speaking consumers increased—and CUB discovered utility scams targeting the Hispanic community—the group launched a more ambitious project: translating CUB's website into Spanish.
The new website is the result of more than a year of work by Annie Warnock, CUB Hispanic relations and media coordinator; David Mroczkowski, CUB webmaster; and Beatriz Cruz, CUB Hispanic affairs and media representative. The site aims to be Illinois' most complete resource on utility issues for the Spanish-speaking community.
"We're constantly trying to improve our services, so we're very proud to offer a Spanish-language version of our website to further support Illinois' Hispanic community," said CUB Executive Director David Kolata. "This is an ambitious project, but it was worth it, because Hispanic consumers will for the first time ever enjoy a comprehensive online resource focusing on cutting their electric, natural gas and telecommunications bills."
The site gives information consumers need about their utility service, including:
- A free library of publications on how to cut electric, natural gas and phone bills, how to avoid utility scams, and how to take advantage of discounts on energy-efficient appliances.
- A toll-free number, 1-800-669-5556, which connects consumers who have complaints or questions about their utility services to bilingual CUB experts.
- Informative videos and podcasts in Spanish, as well as CUB social media that serves the Hispanic community: www.facebook.com/cubespanol and www.twitter.com/cubespanol.
- Latinos Que Ahorran Energia (Latinos Who Save Energy), which allows consumers to use a free online green service, CUB Energy Saver, that helps them cut electric and gas bills and reduce pollution. It has been showing people how to save more than $100 a year.
"We invite all Spanish-speaking consumers to visit www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org/Espanol, use our services, and tell us what you think," Warnock said. "CUB is always on a quest to improve what it offers to the people of Illinois, and this is a great step forward."
CUB is Illinois' leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB's Consumer Hotline, at 1-800-669-5556, or visit CUB's award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
SOURCE Citizens Utility Board