Hamilton, Hancock County use state grants to boost energy efficiency

Posted: Mar. 27, 2012 9:38 am Updated: Apr. 17, 2012 10:15 am

HAMILTON, Ill. -- The city of Hamilton and Hancock County boosted energy efficiency thanks to a state grant.

The city used $44,100 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding for new interior sidewall and ceiling insulation and sheeting/oriented strand board (OSB) installation in the public works building and installing high efficiency lighting in the water treatment plant.

"We anticipate an energy savings due to these retrofit projects in both buildings," Water and Sewer Superintendent Tim Schilson said.

He said the project resulted in a more energy efficient public works building where previously there had been air inflow and the furnace would run constantly when the temperature dropped. Despite the mild winter, there were some very cold days, and the weatherizing kept the building warmer and the furnace not running constantly. The new lighting improves safety for people working in the treatment plant as well as energy efficiency.

"These energy upgrades will result in cost savings over time and have improved the look and efficiency of the buildings," Schilson said.

Hancock County received $77,718 in EECBG funds for an energy efficiency retrofit project in the courthouse.

The project removed the building's old heating unit and replaced it with three high-efficiency furnaces, replaced inefficient lights in the building, installed ceiling fans and insulated the attic.

"We are extremely pleased to have received this assistance to undertake these much needed efficiency projects throughout this beautiful building," County Board Chairman David Walker said. "With all the work completed as a result of this grant, we anticipate a significant energy bill savings to the county, which is very beneficial during these tough economic times."

The state, with the help of the Illinois Association of Regional Councils and their member regional planning agencies, awarded over $13 million in EECBG funding to smaller units of government across the state. The Western Illinois Regional Council, headquartered in Macomb, received a total of $622,351 in EECBG funding and selected 13 units of government, including Hamilton, to receive funds through a competitive application process.

More information about the grants is available by contacting the council at (309) 837-3941 or and online at