A $4,533 GeoAlliance grant was presented in April, to Central Illinois Autism Therapeutic Services (CIATS). The grant will help to offset the cost of the highly energy efficient geothermal heating and cooling system that was recently installed in the facility.
The grant was from GeoAlliance, a collaboration between the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) in Springfield and Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation in Chicago (ICECF). The grants are available for any facility operated by a government or non-profit organization, and served by an Illinois electric cooperative. Eligible facilities, such as schools, community centers, libraries and churches, may apply for a grant of up to $50,000 to help offset the higher initial cost of geothermal system installations.
Vivian Skelley, CIATS Founder and Executive Director, said that since the geothermal system was installed CIATS has seen monthly electric bills drop from as much as $1,000 during the highest months to just $187 last month. Skelley said, “We were to the point where we nearly couldn’t pay our electric bills. This grant has made all the difference in the world.”
Geothermal heat pump systems use the earth’s natural energy and that’s why they are so efficient and inexpensive to operate. Geothermal heating and cooling systems are considered the most energy efficient available today, saving 30 to 70 percent on energy costs.
The ICECF invests in clean energy development and land preservation efforts throughout Illinois. Facilities not serviced by Illinois electric cooperatives can apply directly to ICECF for geothermal system funding. Information on the foundation’s other grant programs can be found on their website at www.illinoiscleanenergy.org.
For more information about the geothermal grant program, contact your local electric cooperative or Nancy Rhoads McDonald at 217-241-7954 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.aiec.coop.