[quote]by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—The Elburn and Countryside Community Center received a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to help with the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system, but the grant is not large enough to cover the entire cost. So, the center is calling on the public to make donations.
“We applied for and were awarded a $90,000 grant, and we have one year to do it (install the system),” said Bill Brauer, a board member for the center.
The benefits of the geothermal system are that it lowers heating and cooling costs, sometimes up to 50 to 75 percent. Less energy is used, and fewer dollars are spent. It also produces lower emissions of all kinds, especially CO2.
The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation awards grant money to help local government organizations and non-profits purchase and install renewable energy technology. Their mission is to implement and improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution and energy costs to Illinois consumers.
“This grant will be instrumental in helping the center install a geothermal system for the building,” said Laura Stoddard, Elburn Community Center administrator. “We’re excited and proud to be able to install this ultimate energy system.”
Geothermal energy takes advantage of the Earth’s constant year-round temperature. In Illinois, the temperature range hovers around 50 degrees. Instead of burning a fuel, which produces emissions, geothermal uses the Earth’s free energy.
To heat a building, the system captures heat from the ground, and uses a circulation pump to move water through pipes and past a heat exchange. There, the heat is removed and distributed to the heating system.
In cooling a building the process is reversed. Excess heat is removed from the building by a heat pump and transferred to the ground loop heat exchange.
For more information, stop by the Community Center and pick up a brochure at the information desk or call (630) 365-6655.