Taking connection to new ‘Heights’

Posted on Apr 07 2020 in LaGrange County REMC
Prairie Heights photo

It came as a shock to Superintendent Jeff Reed when he heard the numbers.

By the end of the year, it’s estimated Prairie Heights School Corporation, a member of the co-op, will have saved more than 1 million kilowatt-hours since the corporation first started energy efficiency upgrades in 2015. 

“Is that right? I’m going to grab a piece of paper and write that down,” Reed said with a smile.

He’s been an integral part of the corporation’s decision to make energy efficient choices for the past six years, and while he’s seen the individual projects come to fruition, the sum of its parts made an impact he hadn’t expected.

From installing LEDs in parking lots, gymnasiums and classrooms, to updating the heating and cooling systems in certain buildings, it adds up quickly.

“That’s awesome. It’s good to see the payoff of the projects we’ve done,” Reed said. “That was the intent, to see that big of a payoff. It makes it worth it, and I’m glad that we’ve done that.”

Working with LaGrange County REMC to apply for rebates through its Power Moves® program meant more than $68,000 in cash back, in addition to the thousands of dollars that’s saved alongside those kilowatt-hours, now and in the future.

That’s the power of being connected to your cooperative.

LaGrange County REMC is more than a distributor of electricity; we’re here to serve you as a community partner.

“The co-op is more than the bill you receive every month. We’re a member of the community, just like you, and want to empower those around us,” CEO Mark Leu said. “We provide incentives for choosing energy efficiency, give back to the community through grant programs and volunteerism, and promote education through safety demonstrations and youth opportunities.”

It’s a mission Prairie Heights has taken to heart. 

In addition to our energy efficiency rebates, the corporation has used the cooperative’s available grant programs to fund initiatives important to students’ development.

In the past, Prairie Heights has received funding from LaGrange County REMC’s EnviroWatts grant program to help enhance the elementary school garden, Panther Paradise. 

It’s also benefited through Operation Round Up funding to the Boomerang Backpacks program, which sends food-filled backpacks home with students who may not have meals for the weekend, and the high school dance team and theater, which received funding to purchase dance mirrors for rehearsals.

“Community partnerships are great,” Reed said. “The school can’t pay for everything, so they have to have community organizations like the REMC, who are willing to contribute to the school and to the community to help benefit our kids. We definitely appreciate that. It’s more opportunities for our kids.”

The schools will continue to partner with the cooperative in the future, whether it’s continued upgrades in their goal to change over all their lighting to LED or continued excellence in their student programs.

And we’ll be here to help meet whatever those needs may be. We’re here to serve you.

“We appreciate the working relationship with the co-op,” Reed said. “We look forward to continuing that.”


Numbers since 2015

1,042,769 — Estimated kilowatt-hours Prairie Heights will save through 2020 by choosing energy efficiency

$68,172 — Cash back the school corporation has received through Power Moves rebates

$8,712 — Grant funding, youth programs and scholarships benefiting the schools’ students