Workshop offers alternative energy solutions

The Illinois Electric Council (IEC), in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), are holding one-day Energy Solutions workshops March 14 and 15. The program is designed to help small businesses, medium businesses, ag producers and rural businesses, electric cooperatives, commercial building contractors and energy educators learn about energy alternatives and efficiency programs that will help lower their costs and make their energy future more sustainable.

While trends shaping the nation’s energy future suggest we face substantial challenges in meeting economic, environmental and security goals, they also show our country has found ways to improve energy productivity and efficiency as well as reduce pollution. Global climate changes and other energy-related environmental problems could cause widespread demand for more measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or other risks from energy production and use. Hear the good news: alternative fuels, utility restructuring, energy distribution and renewable energy are among the choices available to you.

DCEO will outline services that identify opportunities for energy savings through intelligent building design and efficient building components and systems. USDA Rural Development will offer information about federal grants and loans to reduce energy use and help those businesses and electric cops develop alternative energy systems. The University of Illinois, Building Research Council, will discuss top energy efficiency recommendations and an in-depth examination of the benefits of retrofits and improvements related to lighting, heating and cooling systems.

Following lunch, the Illinois Finance Authority will discuss their Renewable Energy Development (RED) Fund that provides loans for projects launched by the end of 2007 and other loan programs available through the Authority.

What is the buzz about Green Buildings? Find out when the University of Illinois SEDAC specialist answers your burning questions. Closing the workshop is a discussion about the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provides tax credits and deductions for residential and business efficiency measures.

The Energy Solutions Workshops are scheduled to begin each day at 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., March 14, at Milliken University in Decatur, Ill. and Rend Lake College March 15, in Ina, Ill. The registration fee is $49 per person with a deadline of March 9th. You can download the program brochure and registration form by visiting

Five professional development hours will be credited for completion of the workshop.

From the Feb. 21-27, 2007, issue

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