Written by: Cherryland

diagram of how the well-connect geothermal system operaties

There is a lot for free when living in the country: beautiful scenery, starlit nights, room to roam, and so on. Though there is one thing that is definitely not for free: heating the home.

Many rural homes rely on propane as their heat source. While propane gets the job done, it is not the cheapest method for heating a northern Michigan home.

Dennis Schultz and the Terra Caloric team of Alpena set out to solve this problem. Recognizing the struggles of heating rural homes inexpensively, they developed a system that is not only a clean way of heating and cooling, but it provides significant savings on annual heating and cooling costs.

The Well-Connect geothermal system uses two assets already in a person’s home—their heat source and well. The system utilizes the groundwater already coming into the home via the well to extract heat in the winter time and to absorb heat for cooling in the summer time. By using the groundwater, it achieves an energy efficiency of more than 400 percent all year long.

Unlike traditional geothermal systems, Well-Connect is efficient in more ways than one. It takes only a day to install, leaves landscaping almost completely intact, and is installed at a fraction of the price.

Cherryland member Glynnis Price purchased a Well-Connect system two years ago after a recommendation from a friend who worked for Terra Caloric. “My friend explained to me all the benefits of the system, but what really got my attention was the savings,” said Price.

Before the installation of her Well-Connect, Price was paying more than $2,000 annually for the 1,000 gallons plus of propane it took to heat her two-story home. And that does not include the occasional top-off after a frigid winter.

After her first full year with the new system, Price’s propane needs dropped below 400 gallons, costing her only $600.

“When the propane deliveryman came to fill my tank,” explained Price, “all he could say was, ‘Whatever you are doing to save on propane, it’s working!’”

Even with the uptick in electric costs to run the system, her total heating savings in 2016 was approximately $750.

“There is no downside to Well-Connect,” said Price.

With all the benefits of the Well-Connect geothermal system, what truly makes it unique is that it’s a realistic solution for rural homeowners looking to save on heating costs. For people like Price, that makes living in the country that much better.

Learn more about Well-Connect at wellconnectgeo.com.

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Written by: Cherryland

Microphone on a podium

The following is a tabulation of votes as reported by the Election and Credentials Committee:

Leelanau County:

  • Tom Van Pelt (Incumbent)……………1,948
  • Write-in Candidates……………………..52

At-Large:

  • David Schweitzer (Incumbent)………975
  • Nicola Philpott……………………………..369
  • Dan Hubbell…………………………………341
  • Cheryl Gore Follette……………………..295
  • David Petrove………………………………273
  • Linda Wasielewski………………………..156
  • Write-in Candidates………………………6

The following members were duly elected as directors for a 3-year term:

Leelanau County:

  • Tom Van Pelt (Incumbent)……………..1,948

At-Large:

  • David Schweitzer (Incumbent)…………975

 

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Written by: Cherryland

Pie chart illustrating number of members claiming rebates in 2016

My job at Cherryland is simple: help members save money.

Long before there was a state-mandated Energy Optimization (EO) requirement, my sole focus has been to help members find new ways to become more energy efficient and in turn save them money on their electric bills.

Year after year, the goal of our EO program has been to exceed the state’s energy savings mandate. 2016 was no different. We were required to save approximately 4 million kilowatt-hours (kWhs). By the end of 2016, we saved a total of 4.6 million kWhs. That’s the equivalent of removing 548 northern Michigan homes off the grid for a year! Those saved kilowatt-hours represent real savings on the electric bills of members like you.

We achieved this goal by continually promoting our residential rebate program and educating our members on the benefits of becoming energy efficient in their homes. For example, last year we gave rebates to 723 members who replaced their old incandescent lightbulbs with Energy Star-rated LED lightbulbs. These members learned that even the simplest of measures could make a big difference for little cost.

As we continue to focus on assisting our members with their energy efficiency needs, we will again offer rebates for measures purchased and installed in 2017. Please visit our website for more details on our rebates and to access the 2017 residential rebate form.

Written by Tammy Squires, Energy Use Advisor

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