The Village Continues to Go Green!
Last year in the October Communicator newsletter the Village of Schiller Park informed residents that it had recently finished the installation of New LED lights in the Village Hall’s brand new parking lot. This project was part of a Village initiative to consume less energy, while saving money. The new light fixtures installed in the Village Hall’s parking lot consume substantially less energy in addition to lasting far longer than the Metal-Halide lights they replaced. In addition residents were told that the Recreation Department also replaced the lights in the gymnasium and racquetball ball court at the Recreation Center with induction lighting. The new induction lighting consumes 50% less energy and since they are “instant on” (i.e. requiring no warm up period), the recreation staff is able to turn off the lights when the gym and racquetball court are not in use saving additional energy. Both of these projects used State of Illinois Department of Community and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) grant money to help offset the replacement cost.
The Village also completed last year a free energy audit of numerous Village buildings using a Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) grant. In this audit, other areas have been identified for energy savings. Current projects that are either completed or are in the process of completion are the installation of new energy efficient lights in the rest of the Recreation Center and control units in most Village heating and air conditioning units to allow them to run more efficiently. Both of these projects were completed using little to no Village funds as State Grants were again used. Moving forward the Village is pursuing the replacement of all internal lights in the community center along with other lighting and electrical upgrades to the facility. It is currently planned that this project will take place this spring. The majority of the light replacement in this building again will be paid using State Grant funds.
Another area the Village mentioned in the article as having worked on for energy savings was the Village’s rolling stock. Over the past several years the Village purchased more efficient vehicles for all departments. In the past two (2) years the Recreation and Community Development Departments have replaced larger vehicles such as the Crown Victoria with smaller Ford Fusion and Focus vehicles that get at least 25% better fuel economy. In addition, the Police Department just recently received two (2) of the new Chicago manufactured Ford Taurus Police Pursuit Vehicles to replace the old Crown Victoria squad cars. These new vehicles again are anticipated to decrease fuel consumption by a substantial amount.
Lastly the Village is now pursuing the feasibility of replacing the street lighting on 25th Avenue with new energy efficient lighting element of an induction or LED variety. The goal of this project would be to again save energy costs and with the projected longevity of the bulbs save on maintenance costs as well.
Overall the goal of these various projects is to make the Village more energy efficient and save the taxpayers and the community money. In summary the Village has received more than $45,000 in energy efficiency grants for the projects mentioned here over the last several years. This substantial amount is in addition to the more than $55,000 in grant money the Village received for upgrading the traffic signals in the Village to modern, low maintenance, energy efficient, LED lights several years ago. The Village pledges it will continue to seek out opportunities to go green in the future, find additional grants beyond the $100,000 already received, and ultimately save additional energy costs for taxpayers.