A Report from the 2016 Fall Energy Expo

The cheapest energy is the energy you save!
Thirty people attended a variety of presentations at the Fall Energy Expo on October 1st at the Cook County Community Center.

Cook County Home Energy Auditor Mike Senty kicked off the day of events with a spirited talk about how to prepare your home or business for winter. Now that the weather is cool, it's the perfect time to have an energy audit on your home or business. For more details, visit: Residential Energy Efficiency Program

George Wilkes, representing the Cook County Citizen's Climate Lobby, briefed attendees about the Carbon Fee and Dividend solution to climate change. To join the cause, follow the link to: Citizen's Climate Lobby

After lunch, the local "solar panel" answered questions about living with solar power in Cook County. On the panel were Cook County Co-Op Manager Jennifer Stoltz, Arthouse B&B owner Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux and CCLEP Project Coodinator Staci Drouillard. For more information about going solar, see CCLEP's comprehensive guide: Going Solar Electric: A Cook County Guide.

Jason Edens (pictured above) from the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance gave a very comprehensive talk about the history and application of solar power and solar thermal heating. He shared a lot of good information about how to secure a solar site assessment and how to find financial help for making the switch to renewable energy sources.

The day was completed with three home energy tours. The all Solar PV and Solar Oven tour, Solar Thermal Heating Home Tour and a Maximum Efficiency Root Cellar tour (pictured below; potatoes in dry storage, ready for winter).  

Thank you to all who attended. Thanks also to those who offered up your homes for a tour and also to our group of knowledgeable presenters, who shared your energy related experiences with us! Finally, a big thank you to the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation for co-sponsoring the event.

In other Energy News ~

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is now available in Cook County.

Solar Installation Survey If you own a solar PV system in Cook County, please fill out the Solar Survey.

The Cook CountyLocal EnergyProject (CCLEP) is a nonprofit organization working for energy efficiency and clean, local, renewable energy development in Cook County, Minnesota.

CCLEP Action Plan

  • Engender community conversation about energy issues through public meetings, radio shows, newspaper articles, on-line postings, and a dedicated website. 
  • Build and strengthen a network of interested parties to improve communication about, and increase coordination of, local energy projects.
  • Investigate feasibility of various energy efficiency and renewable energy production options specific to Cook County.
  • Gather, organize, and make available, information about energy issues.
  • Develop and maintain a website to make energy information easy to access and useful to our community.
  • Engage with local units of government to enact policies that enhance local energy efficiency and renewable energy development.
  • Encourage the establishment of a local energy industry by assisting local businesses and non-profits with their energy projects.
  • Develop, maintain and implement a county wide Energy Plan. 

We pursue this goal in order to achieve the following community benefits:
  • Retain energy dollars in our local economy.
  • Create jobs.
  • Improve quality of life through more comfortable, less-costly, energy efficient housing.
  • Buffer our community from unstable energy supply and pricing.
  • Reduce harmful climatic and environmental effects of fossil fuel use.
  • Reduce dependence on foreign oil.
  • Increase local self-reliance.
  • Transfer wealth and power into the hands of local citizens and their local utilities.