Morton awarded Most Progressive City

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Ameren Illinois named Morton its Most Progressive City Thursday after the community’s businesses took efforts in energy reduction.

The village of Morton added another award to its list. This time, the village was recognized for its efforts in energy reduction.

Morton received the Most Progressive City Award from Ameren Illinois Thursday. Ameren awarded five other cities in Illinois — one for each of its six districts.

“We look at each one of those and look at the size of the community and the amount of businesses and the participation in relation to the size of the community and we select one progressive city winner each year,” said Keith Goerss, senior manager of Energy Efficiency for Ameren.

This is the fourth year for Ameren to hand out the awards.

The village earned the award for the area businesses completion of energy efficient projects through the ActOnEnergy Programs through Ameren.

Morton had 29 businesses participate in the programs and completed 44 projects.

Through these projects, the participating businesses reduced 615,827 kilowatts per hour or saved $43,108 on annual energy.

“For the size of the community, that’s just an outstanding participation and so they’re recognized on behalf of that,” Goerss said.

Goerss said a lot of the projects are lighting related. Businesses are switching from the old incandescent bulbs to LED or CFL lighting.

“That could be up to 30 percent of the cost for a small business,” Goerss said.

Those savings are equivalent to taking 84 cars off the road or 92 acres of forest planted.

Mayor Ron Rainson said that these costs will help with current and long-term cost issues.

“It delays the time it takes to build a new power plant, which saves everyone money,” Rainson said.

The Morton Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council CEO and Executive Director Brian Anderson said these projects are a win-win scenario.

“The whole green initiative and the whole green approach ... it benefits the community and the environment, but it also makes business sense,” Anderson said.

Although the businesses did their part, Morton residents also reduced energy.

According to Ameren, Morton residents saved about $23,790 annually and were paid $58,005 through incentives to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

For more information about Ameren and its energy saving projects, visit www.ActOnEnergy.com/Business.