energy grants available to non-profits
heating and cooling systems look like any other system
on the inside of a building except for two insulated pipes
that run to the outside geothermal loop.
A unique collaboration between the Association of Illinois Electric
Cooperatives (AIEC) and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
provides churches and other non-profit organizations and communities
with a reason to "go geothermal." Incentive funds totaling
$500,000 are available to qualifying Illinois electric cooperative
members to install geothermal heating and cooling technology in
facilities owned by local government or non-profit organizations.
These facilities must receive their electricity from an Illinois
electric cooperative to qualify.
Grants of up to $50,000 per project will cover half of the "incremental
cost" of each project, or the difference between a traditional
heating-cooling installation and a geothermal system.
"Geothermal heating and cooling systems are the most efficient
available today," says John Freitag, AIEC Vice President of
Operations. He cited a landmark technical report issued by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, which calls geothermal systems
"the most energy efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective
space conditioning systems available."
The grant program was announced in early December and officially
started January 1. The AIEC's grant from the Clean Energy Community
Foundation is the largest single award ever made by the Chicago-based
organization. "We're extremely pleased to be working with Illinois
Clean Energy on this collaboration. We're going to do some great
things in the rural communities we serve and electric co-ops can
wear 'the white hats' through this effort," Freitag noted.
"The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation appreciates
the leadership of AIEC and its members on this effort. We see this
as a breakthrough opportunity for public and non-profit organizations.
They can benefit from improved comfort in their facilities, lower
operating and maintenance costs and reduced energy use, leading
to less pollution in Illinois communities," said James Mann,
Executive Director of the foundation. "At the same time, organizations
taking advantage of this program can offer their peers and the wider
commercial sector proof of the energy and maintenance savings during
a building's lifecycle that far outweigh the initial capital investment
for installing a geothermal system."
AIEC President and CEO Earl Struck accepted the award for the electric
cooperatives and cited the co-ops' success in marketing geothermal
heating-cooling systems to the residential market. "It's working
in thousands of electric cooperative members' homes and it will
work just as well in churches, schools and other facilities."
For more information on the program, go to www.aiec.coop
and click on the geothermal button, or contact Freitag or Rick Polley
at the AIEC: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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places where the air leaks hide
windows and doors were once considered to be the home's most
prominent air leaks. Then building specialists starting measuring
air leakage with a device called a blower door. As a result of that
research, we've learned that the biggest air leaks are lurking in
the attic, around the foundation, and where utilities pass through
the building's outer shell.
When you find
openings that allow air to leak into and out of your home, seal
them with durable materials. Every opening you seal will reduce
the amount of heated air you lose next winter.
Source: John Krigger, Saturn Resource Management
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Web site designed for elderly
Department on Aging has redesigned its Web site to better meet its
clients' needs. The site has been expanded to provide more information
on services and programs and to ensure that the information is easily
accessible and consumer friendly. Featured sections of the site
Family Caregiver Support Program,
in Your Home and Community,
- Elder Abuse
Prevention and Legal Services,
and Volunteer Programs,
of Agencies and Organizations Serving Seniors,
- Senior HelpLine,
- News and
high-profile programs and initiatives are highlighted on the homepage.
Assistance in Illinois,
- Seniors and
Gambling, and more.
View the Aging
Web site at: www.state.il.us/aging
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Retirement Planning Site Launched
and planning for retirement easier as well as assisting individuals
in making informed investment decisions is the goal of a new University
of Illinois Extension Web site. "Plan Well, Retire Well"
is at: www.retirewell.uiuc.edu
Web site is part of a larger program of Extension's consumer and
family economics team," explained Kathryn Sweedler, an Extension
assistant in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
who oversees the Web site. "The team has been interested in
retirement planning for a number of years."
many people approach their retirement years with sufficient savings
and wealth to ensure a secure lifestyle after their working years,
many other middle-income individuals and families have little or
no savings for retirement," said Sweedler. "The Web site
aims to motivate people in the 20-40 age range to begin saving."
On the Web site,
users can go step-by-step at their own pace through an information
and planning process. They can also skip around and go to sections
of more immediate interest or relevance to them.
is no one answer or way to go about saving and planning for retirement,"
said Sweedler. "One of the strengths of this site is that it
allows people to ask the questions they need answered and to put
together their own plan."
Sampson, Kathryn Sweedler: web.aces.uiuc.edu/news
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