Fayette County Soil
Water Conservation District







Preserving and conserving our natural resources can be as simple as using www.goodshop.com when you shop online. Goodshop is a free fund raising program that won’t cost you time or money, but will raise money for Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District while giving you access to thousands of online coupons and promotions. Goodshop is a portal through which you reach and shop at your favorite retail sites. With every purchase you make, including items such as Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and apparel from Kohls, Goodshop will donate up to 20% of what you spend. Support us by clicking on the logo to sync us for donation or by signing up ! We appreciate it!


We have listed a couple of new Energy Conservation Rebate items that we found. There are hundreds more online. They begin and the funds are exhausted almost as fast, so, if you are interested in them don't hesitate on checking into them. I will try to keep you updated on any ideas or even better "new rebates" that I can find.

New and Small Business Assistance

Illinois economic development, finance, and tax organization provides a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include financial assistance, a participation loan program, and a biotech training investment program.


Dept. of Energy Solar Energy Rebates

DCEO - Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program  

DCEO is not accepting applications yet. The program will reopen after July 1, 2012. So be prepared is this is of interest to you. 

Dept. of Commerce - Energy Star

Energy Star Rebate

PLEASE NOTE: DCEO funding is for Public Sector entities only, and is separate from funding provided through similar programs with utility companies for businesses, 501c3s and private schools. If you are not a public sector organization, please check with your utility provider to see what energy efficiency programs may be available for you.

Natural Gas Rebate Information

Natural Gas Water Heater

The program is available to all residential customers where MidAmerican Energy Company delivers natural gas in its Illinois service territory


Make sure that you take advantage of all the tax credits that you can while they are available!!! Put a file together for your taxes and keep everything together so you have them for verification at the end of the year.  I'm sure you will need all the receipts but who deserves the credits more than we do?


Heating & Cooling Tips

This might come as a surprise to you, but approximately half of your energy use goes to heating and cooling your home. Fortunately, there are many ways to cut that down, including insulation, air sealing, programmable thermostats, and more. Of course, you should start by making sure that your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is working properly. In fact, it's estimated that if you upgrade to the latest ENERGY STAR ® equipment, you should save hundreds of dollars on your annual bill.

Keep Your HVAC System Tuned    

Change your filters at least once every 3 months, and even more often during winter and summer. You should also have your equipment checked annually by an Authorized Dealer. And if your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR system, which is specifically designed to save both energy and money.

Reduce Your Air Leakage   ProjectProject ProductsProducts

Air leaks through your windows, doors, ducts, chimney, and even your electrical outlets. The problem is that you've spent a considerable portion of your energy bill heating that air in winter and cooling it in summer. Find out how to reduce your air leakage and cut your energy costs at Air Leakage Tips.

Insulate Your Attic      

Did you know that 80% of homes built before 1980 are under insulated? Chances are that you're spending more money than you need on energy, and that you're not as cool in the summer or as warm in the winter as you'd like. Learn the basics of insulation here or contact your local Authorized Dealer.

Install a Programmable Thermostat     VideoVideo ProductsProducts

According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs by turning your thermostat back 10-15% for 8 hours a day. What's more, there are several programmable thermostats that make this an easy and automated task, including one that you can adjust by phone.

Install a Ceiling Fan     ProductsProducts

It's well known that ceiling fans are a great way to cool your home during the summer and that they use considerably less energy than your air conditioning unit. But what's less well known is that they can also help warm your home in the winter by drawing the heat that?s risen to the ceiling down into the room.

Use Space Heaters and Portable Fans     ProductsProducts

Your HVAC system is designed to heat and cool your whole house. However, there are days when you spend most of your time in one or two rooms. That's when you should consider lowering your thermostat and using a space heater in winter or raising your thermostat and using a portable fan in summer. It doesn't make sense to heat or cool rooms that are empty.

Insulation Tips

Energy Solutions: Insulation Tips

Insulation is a term used for a wide variety of materials, from fiberglass to liquid foam to mineral wool. It's used in walls, floors, ceilings, and around ducts to provide resistance to the natural heat flow in your home. In the winter, heat flows out and you have to heat your home. In the summer, heat flows in and you have to cool your home. As you can imagine, the cost adds up very quickly. But with proper insulation and air sealing techniques, you could save up to 30% on your overall heating and cooling costs. It also makes your home much more comfortable.

Start With Your Attic   ProjectProjects

Your attic is one of the easiest places to insulate, especially if you're adding to existing insulation. Typically, you'd use either blanket insulation or loose-fill insulation. Blanket comes in rolls or batts and is the most common type of insulation. Loose-fill consists of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. It tends to be less expensive, provides more coverage, and can be used in hard-to-reach areas.

Decide On Your Basement    ProjectProject

There's a lot of controversy about where to insulate in your basement. Do you insulate your basement ceiling or its walls? If the walls, do you insulate on the exterior or the interior? Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each, but whichever solution you decide on, be sure to read about the nine general rules of moisture control before you start work.

Insulate Your Exterior Walls   

For exterior walls, you should first determine where you need insulation, and then how much you need to reach the recommended R-value. You can do this yourself, or you can hire an Authorized Dealer to conduct a more detailed thermographic inspection. Once you've determined the location and coverage you need, you might want to consider using loose-fill or sprayed foam insulation, in that they both can be used without disturbing finished areas of your home.

Tape Your Ducts     ProductsProducts

Insulating your air ducts is more important than it sounds. Your air ducts transfer conditioned air from your heating and cooling equipment to the rooms in your home and back again. However, the ducts are usually made out of thin metal materials. So when they pass through unconditioned areas like attics, garages, or basements, they can lose from 10% to 30% of the energy used to heat and cool your home. You can stop this energy loss with simple tape or mastic. Find out more at Air Leakage Tips.

Insulate Other Areas     ProductsProducts

There are many other places where you can insulate in your home, from attic access doors to crawl spaces to floors above unheated garages. What's more, there are different types of insulation. Insulation for windows and skylights, for example, can be accomplished through awnings, blinds, or other treatments or coverings. Find out more at Solar Insulation Tips.


Conserve Energy

Please do not wait to start conserving as much energy as you can to reduce your climate change emissions! And please ask your elected representatives to push for strong legislation to move toward overall reduced energy usage and increased alternative energy production.

  • Quick & Easy Energy Tip: Take the Zero-Volt Challenge and reduce your energy bill today!
  • Set Goals: To reduce your energy consumption:
    • Set specific energy reduction goals (for electricity, gas, and gallons of fuel consumed in your car(s)) -- for example, commit to using 20% less per month
    • Determine a baseline to start reducing from. Print the energy and water consumption chart and post in a visible spot in your home. Updates:
      • for your car(s): chart the number of miles you drive each month
      • for your home/office: chart the gas "therms" and/or electric kilowatts per hour (kWh) used in the last 12 months (for comparison to each month this year)
    • Make specific changes in products used and family member habits:
      • buy energy saving products where needed
      • read the Sustainable Solutions for Getting Around Town page for ideas on reducing mileage/increasing mileage efficiency
      • get your family involved by asking for specific changes in everyone's habits (e.g., tape signs to light switches reminding family members to turn out lights when they leave a room, tape a sign to your car dashboard reminding the driver to check tire pressure during the first week of each month, assign someone to turn out all lights and cut power to unused appliances (to reduce standby power usage) each night)
      • look for additional ideas below
    • Once a month, add the new usage information to the charts and make adjustments as needed to reach your goals
    • Use the money saved to do something fun with your family (if you have children, increase their allowances by the amount saved to encourage them to get involved in finding new ways to conserve)
  • Buy Green Energy: If possible, choose a utility company focused on renewable energy. If you live in a deregulated state in the U.S., Green-e provides information about certified "clean electricity" providers for your state. In the U.K., visit Green Helpline.
  • Resources: The following pages provide tips on how to save energy:
  • Kitchen: Kitchen Unplugged -- ways to conserve energy in the kitchen
  • Carbon Footprint: The Carbon Footprint Calculator helps you to determine your carbon dioxide emissions from major sources: home energy consumption and transportation by car and plane. This information can be tracked over time, allowing you to gauge the impact of actions you take to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Carbon Offsets: If you are taking a trip, consider buying carbon emission offsets.
  • Home Shade: In hot areas, if you have west-facing windows use window tints, blinds, deciduous trees or trellises to help keep out heat from the summer sun. In general, you will lower your summer air-conditioning bill by planting trees and bushes along the west side of your home.
  • Paint Colors: Paint your home a light color if you live in a warm climate and a dark color if you live in a cold climate.
  • Insulation: Insulate your hot water heater (a tank that is warm to the touch needs added insulation), as well as hot water pipes and ducts located in unheated areas.
  • Standby Power: Reduce "standby power" (the energy used while an appliance is switched off or not performing) at home and at work. The easiest way is to unplug appliances that are not being used. You can also plug your appliances into power surge protector strips (with multiple electrical outlets) and turn the power off at the strip.
  • Lights Off: Whenever possible, keep lights off during the day. Consider installing a well insulated skylight if more light is needed. Encourage family members to get in the habit of turning off lights when they leave a room (taping small reminder notes to light switches can help).
  • Location of Home: Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive (easy access to public transit, easy biking routes, close to work and stores, walk able community, etc.).
  • Solar Cooker: Consider using a solar cooker to cook some of your meals.
  • Cool Water: When turning on a water faucet, unless you need warm water choose the coolest water setting.
  • Invest in Energy: Investing in renewable energy production is the same as investing in a home or office building. Buying energy from a utility, on the other hand, is like renting - at the end of fifteen years you don't have anything to show for it - and you are left vulnerable to the fluctuating costs of energy. One investment option is solar panels which can produce energy for 40 years or more - far longer than it takes to pay off the installation costs (currently around 15 years for homeowners and only 7 years for businesses). Wind power, where available, has a far quicker payback period. For more information on renewable energy, check out:
  • Dark-Sky: Change outside light fixtures so that light does not shine up into the sky. The International Dark-Sky Association works to educate individuals and communities about the use of energy-efficient, properly designed lighting that allows for good night sky viewing. The Fatal Light Awareness Program educates individuals about how urban lights harm migratory birds.
  • Books: There are several great books on energy conservation that you can purchase.


301 South Third Street
Vandalia,  IL  62471
618-283-1095 ext. 3
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Karen Sanders - fayettecountyswcd@att.net
Tony Pals - tony.pals@il.nacdnet.net