Corn Belt grant helps energy efficiency at Normal West

Normal Community West High School
Officials from Corn Belt Energy presented Unit 5 a $50,000 grant to help pay for energy efficiency improvements at Normal West High School. (Photo by Hillary Cherry/Corn Belt Energy)

By Eric Stock

NORMAL – Unit 5 is getting a grant to help cover the cost of energy efficiency upgrades at Normal West High School.

Corn Belt Energy is issuing a $50,000 grant after Unit 5 implemented a series of energy-saving efforts, including a new automated heating and cooling system.

Unit 5 Facilities Director Doug Johnson said Normal West has cut its monthly energy bill by $12,500.

“We are just trying to think of ways to improve our operations fund,” Johnson said.

The renovations cost $1 million. The district also received a $144,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help defray the cost.

Corn Belt’s Marketing & Member Services Manager Justin Stuva said Corn Belt is also working to expand the number of unit 5 schools that generate geothermal energy.

“Their passion to use funds wisely, to find those opportunities where that low-hanging fruit that they can pick and end up saving that money,” Stuva said. “They have very limited funds to work with.”

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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