Rural communities across Illinois are eligible for thousands of dollars in state money to upgrade municipal facilities with energy efficient equipment.
Energy efficient light bulbs and boilers cost more, so cash strapped communities are less likely to pay that extra money.
That’s according to Nathan Cobb at the Western Illinois Regional Council. He said the “Illinois Now” program provides rebates to rural communities that help them cover some of that extra cost.
Cobb said those added costs can be significant, like when the Macomb municipal airport recently decided to replace its runway lights.
"The difference between a normal light bulb that they would have now and putting in an LED out there would be around a 20 thousand dollar extra cost to the airport," Cobb said, "so we're looking at doing a project though this program to help pay for some of that 20 thousand."
Cobb said the long term cost savings can be significant too. In the case of the airport’s LED lights, they could save the airport 150,000 dollars over 20 years just on lower maintenance costs.
The WIRC is accepting applications for Project Now rebates for equipment purchased or installed after May 31st, 2012 and before June 1st, 2013.