On the Radio: Using Geothermal Energy, West Union Colors Historic Downtown Green


In 2008 West Union was designated a Green Pilot Program by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Beyond its move to sustainable energy sources, the city has also made streets and sidewalks more pedestrian friendly. Credit: West Union Chamber of Commerce.

 Note: The text in this post has been updated to reflect that West Union has not yet begun to use its district geothermal energy system, but it plans to soon. The audio clip, however, has not been updated. Language in the original post implied that the project had already begun. Construction on the system began last month, according to Robin Bostrom, Executive Director, West Union Chamber of Commerce.

The mistake stemmed from a misinterpretation of language in the report appended below. IEF regrets the error. 

Listen to this week’s radio segment, which details West Union – a 2008 Green Pilot Program – is saving energy while preserving its history. And read about the rest of West Union’s green vision

Old and inefficient – in questions about energy consumption, the words go hand-in-hand. But one small Iowa community is looking to show us that’s not always the case.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

In West Union, a small town in Northeast Iowa, residents are planning on  going green and preserving their history.

In 2008 West Union was named a state Green Pilot Community.  It may the first U.S. town to use district energy – a neighborhood-scale energy source – to power its historic buildings.

The buildings, most of which are over 100 years old, will be naturally heated and cooled using geothermal energy.  The system is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent and lower heating costs by 40 to 70 percent after hookup.

So congrats to West Union – for its efforts to preserve and conserve resources at the same time.

For more information, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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