PCCU Partners with Cope Environment Center
November 13th marked the first of many workshops that will be put on through a partnership between PCCU and Cope Environmental Center and PCCU. It was a Green Energy workshop held in PCCU’s Richmond Branch at 77 South 37th Street, the workshop featured several speakers who informed the attendees about some of the many benefits of green energy.
Alison Clark Zajdel, Director of Cope Environmental Center, spoke about the Living Building Challenge that Cope is embarking on with their upcoming expansion. The requirements are hefty and only five buildings in the world have currently achieved this certification so far. Many challenges lie ahead for them, but they look forward to taking what they are learning about building in a more energy and environmentally conscious way and helping people in the Wayne County area learn how to make changes and improve their own homes and lives.
The next speaker was Bill Stockberger, from Aire Serv of East Central Indiana. He gave a great overview on the benefits of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system. Bill cited several examples of homes in excess of 2400 square feet that had reduced their heating, cooling and hot water costs to less than $630 annually, one even as low as $498. He also spoke about the tax incentives available to make the investment more affordable for homeowners.
Our next speaker was local resident Bill Buskirk. Bill and his wife had installed photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, on their home about ten years ago. He related his experiences with them and the joy of watching his electric meter running backwards as the panels produced more energy than they were consuming and selling that excess back to the grid.
Finally, Phil Teague of Rectify Solar, LLC. spoke about the many benefits of photovoltaic cells and demonstrated some of the many cost savings from producing your own green energy. He also discussed the benefits and challenges of going off grid versus staying connected and selling energy back to the grid. Additionally, Phil pointed out the benefits of combining solar power creation with geothermal heating and cooling to nearly eliminate a homeowner’s energy bill altogether! Phil also pointed out the tax credits that homeowners who install solar panels are eligible to collect.
Each of the speakers fielded questions from the homeowners, and after Phil’s talk the speakers all made themselves available to answer further questions, of which there were many. There was a lot of excitement in the room as folks discussed not only lowering their energy bills, but also how they could be better stewards of the land and leave it better than they found it. Watch your PCCU newsletter and the PCCU Facebook page for information about future workshops that Cope and PCCU will bring to the community.