Online Staff Report
FREEPORT, Ill. — With colder weather approaching, individuals and businesses may wonder how they’ll find room in their budget to pay for heating costs. And although natural gas is relatively plentiful and inexpensive in the Midwest, not all residents and businesses are connected to the pipeline.
Biomass as a cost-effective heat source is the topic for the Tri-State Heating with Biomass Symposium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, at Highland Community College, Freeport, Ill.
The symposium, co-hosted by University of Illinois Extension, University of Wisconsin Extension, and Highland Community College, will provide regionally appropriate information about the issues and opportunities related to biomass heating.
“Modern biomass systems are competitive with more expensive heating fuels, such as fuel oil, LP gas and electricity,” said Jay Solomon, U of I Extension educator, energy and environmental stewardship.
In fact, Solomon said using biomass to heat buildings has become quite common in some parts of the United States. “The northern regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have embraced the opportunity to heat homes, businesses and public buildings using wood-based biomass in particular,” Solomon said. “And the tri-state area, which encompasses northern Illinois, eastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin, has a similarly appropriate natural resource base to follow this trend. However, many residents lack the information necessary to capitalize on this opportunity.”
The symposium will feature speakers from industry and equipment suppliers, universities and members of the Illinois Biomass Working Group. Local statistics and opportunities, experiences of other projects, review of current timber availability, and the relationship with the larger Midwest biomass effort will be discussed. Community leaders, residential fuel suppliers, entrepreneurs, investors, and home/building owners are encouraged to attend this event.
Highland Community College is at 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport, Ill. The symposium will be in the Student Conference Center, Building H. Registration is required. Early registration is $15 per person; registration after Oct. 17 is $20. To register and for more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/pc6whdf or call U of I Extension at (815) 235-4125.
Posted Oct. 9, 2013