The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Going green effectively, efficiently

Greg Wagoner of Wabash Valley Power Association informed members of Eastern’s community the true extent of “going green” with the Renewable Energy Center.

Wagoner’s speech focused on combining economically efficient means with environmentally effective intentions.

Eastern was the host of a Renewable Energy Symposium Wednesday of the Martin Luther King Jr. Union. Speakers included President Perry, who gave opening remarks, as well as Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose, and Illinois State Senator Dale Righter.

This is after House Bill 6202, the “Solar Ramp-up bill,” was passed in August. This bill sets standards for amounts of solar power to be used in the state from 2012-2015.

Eastern is no stranger to the initiative, with its Renewable Energy Center being a bold step into energy conservation.

The Eastern Renewable Energy Center is a biomass gasifier that will enable Eastern to sustain its own heating and cooling by burning non-treated plant matter.

The keynote speaker, Greg Wagoner, offered a practical approach to not only being environmentally aware but cost effective for the consumer.

As Vice-President of Business Development of the Wabash Valley Power Association, Wagoner said he is committed to consumer awareness and education as well as finding a balance between reliability, environmentally friendly service and if it is within a reasonable budget.

“I believe our future has to be consumer education,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner spoke about the potential costs of maintaining a more environmentally friendly business, he pointed out the inevitability of increasing costs.

On the subject of increasing costs, Wagoner made his point of combining cost efficiency with what is best for the environment.

“Let’s make sure we’re honest with the American public. How can we work together to soften the blow, without the Federal government subsidizing everything?” Wagoner said.

During an open forum for questions after the keynote speech, attendees discussed and asked questions about different types of energy resources and their impact. “There is not one single answer, it’s everything. Conservation, biomass, and renewable (energy). That’s the answer,” Wagoner said.

Working alongside the Illinois General Assembly, Eastern continues its pursuit of a “green” campus and the completion of its master plan, which includes the construction of the Renewable Energy Center.

Mel Boydston can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]

Going green effectively, efficiently

Going green effectively, efficiently

State Representative Chapin Rose speaks Wednesday at the Renewable Energy Symposium in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. (Kim Foster

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