Five years after establishing Solar Urbana-Champaign, a group purchasing program designed to make solar energy more accessible for Champaign County residents, the City of Urbana is launching an expansion into geothermal systems. Urbana is once again partnering with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), as well as the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois (GAOI). From John Freitag, executive director of GAOI:
“Geothermal heat pumps are by far the most efficient heating and cooling systems available today. They're so efficient because they use no fuel, but rather use the earth's natural and consistent temperatures. Through this program we hope to educate a lot of folks about geothermal heat pumps, as well as lower the initial investment of the geothermal system. We are very excited about the program because we know that geothermal systems can cut energy usage, and the cost of operation, by 50 percent or more.”
As with the Solar buy in, the geothermal systems will be offered at a lower than market rate. The rate will get lower as more people sign on. There are several virtual information sessions coming up; the next one is this Thursday from 12 to 1 p.m.
Image from Geothermal Urbana-Champaign Facebook page.