Co-ops represented at renewable energy conference

Michael Voelker John FreitagMichael Voelker (left), VP Utility Services at Corn Belt Energy, and John Freitag, VP Operations for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, spoke at the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference at Illinois State University on July 21. The pair ­covered a variety of energy efficiency issues in their presentation of “Things you need to Consider in doing a Geothermal Heat Pump retrofit of your Home or Small Business.”

Voelker spoke about weatherization and told the audience that the most ­valuable and efficient kWh of electricity is the one that is saved because of weatherization and ­efficiency measures. Freitag provided a ­number of tips for the public to consider when upgrading a heating and cooling ­system to ­geothermal. “The most important advice I can give people is to hire a geothermal contractor with the proper training and experience, so that they wind up with a system that really delivers results and provides savings and comfort for many years,” Freitag said. In ­addition to his work with the electric cooperatives, Freitag is also the executive director of the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois –