Participants who installed geothermal heating and cooling
systems earlier this year now will be getting cash back from the popular Geothermal U-C group buy program. The group buy program has been responsible for the installation of a dozen new geothermal systems, mainly in the Urbana-Champaign area this spring. Because of the program's popularity, a bulk purchase benchmark has been achieved, resulting in cash back to participants.
Navigating the geothermal market can be intimidating and it can create barriers for adoption. The MREA, the City of Urbana, the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, and partners hosted 15 free “Power Hours” to educate those interested in the program. These information sessions were one hour in length and taught attendees the basics of geothermal, its financial implications, and how the Geothermal Urbana-Champaign group buy program works.
The Geothermal Urbana-Champaign group buy program offers property owners in Champaign, Vermillion and Piatt Counties the opportunity to learn more about geothermal energy and to access a more affordable pricing program for geothermal installations. The program lowers costs by leveraging the power of volume purchasing and selecting a contractor through a competitive request-for-proposals process. Active community education about the benefits of geothermal is the core of the group buy program.
This pilot program sprouted from five years of successful solar group buys in the area (Solar Urbana-Champaign). Programs like these have been happening across the country as a grassroots movement to power cities and communities with clean-renewable energy. Not only will these group buy programs result in reduced utility bills and cheaper installations for participants, but also benefit residents by offsetting the amount of harmful pollutants that come from fossil fuel generation and result in cleaner air, water, and healthier communities.
Nearly 300 residents have expressed interest in the program. The deadline to sign up is May 30th, so the program will be hosting one more Power Hour for those who are interested but unsure if geothermal is right for them. The last Power Hour will be Monday, May 17 at 4PM CT (click the button to the left to register!).
Finally, the program team will host a final event before the May 30th deadline, Thursday, May 27th at 4PM CT (click link to register). This event, dubbed “Everything you wanted to know about geothermal but were too afraid to ask'' will be an extravaganza, with mixed media and format including an open question and answer session about any geothermal topic, whether it be about their proposed contract, about their site assessment or whatever!
The program team will also share the successes of geothermal in Urbana-Champaign including the most recent
install of the largest geothermal system at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus
and will feature several homes with geothermal with an open house with a geothermal owner and believer.
Announcement: Geothermal Urbana-Champaign Program Hits First Benchmark!