A few weeks ago, Patrick, one of OED's program managers, took a visit to Bart Villa Apartments in Bloomington, as the organization was a recipient of grant funds from our Solar Thermal Grant program.
These units were built in the 1960s. The boiler system was installed at the same time and was obviously inefficient, using excessive amounts of natural gas each month. Bart Villa's solar thermal system, which was funded by this program, is backed up by a high efficiency boiler. The new system provides hot water to nineteen apartments in the complex. Energy from the sun is fed into the complex's 360 gallon water system. Up to 70% of the hot water load for this unit of apartments is provided by the new system. It is estimated that the complex will save 120 tons of fossil fuel emissions and at least $4,000 in the first year alone.
Bart Villa Apartments received a 2010 Solar Thermal Grant, which is a part of the State Energy Program (SEP). SEP is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered through the Indiana Office of Energy Development.