Fresh Digs

Parke County REMC taps earth for serious energy savings in new centrally located office

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For decades, Parke County REMC’s office was nestled in downtown Rockville, the heart of the county where it started in 1937.

This spring, the electric cooperative will move near the heart of the entire region it serves today – spanning portions of six west-central Indiana counties.

Two people standing in new office space

Madison Cooper, marketing and communications specialist for Parke County REMC, and Jake Eslinger, energy advisor for the electric cooperative, in the new building. They helped plan for the upgrades that received Power Moves rebates.

Parke County REMC employees will move into their new building east of Rockville this spring. The co-op’s new location consolidates multiple sites the organization needed to house their employees, materials and equipment over the past several decades. The new facility is more centrally located to the counties served by Parke County REMC and includes enough space for all co-op employees to work at the same location.

“The new location will bring all employees, materials and equipment together to a more central location,” said Madison Cooper, marketing and communications specialist for Parke County REMC. “It will allow us to improve our response time for our membership.”

Historical photo of three men standing in front of a truck

A crew of Parke County REMC employees stand with the electric cooperative’s first truck. Since its founding in 1937, the cooperative was located in downtown Rockville, Ind. The new office is a few miles east of downtown and more centrally located in the co-op’s six-county service territory, which has grown over the decades.

Parke County REMC received $25,000 in Power Moves rebates for energy efficiency upgrades that include multiple geothermal heat pumps and mini-split heating and cooling systems. The geothermal system uses the moderate temperatures underground to more efficiently heat and cool buildings compared to conventional HVAC systems. The building also includes variable frequency drives, which provide greater control to use only the required energy needed, on hot water pumps.

“It just made sense for us to take advantage of the rebates for the new facility,” Cooper said. “Since we were designing the building, we were able to include these energy efficiency upgrades that will minimize our energy use, leading to more long-term cost savings.”

The new building also includes LED lighting, which is brighter and uses less energy than traditional lighting, along with programmable security lights in the parking lot.

Interior of large garage facility

The new Parke County REMC facility includes space for the cooperative’s fleet of vehicles, along with Parke Professional Services, the co-op’s tree trimming business.

“As a modern building, it’s insulated very well and includes some modern construction elements built into it,” said Jake Eslinger, Parke County REMC energy advisor who helped plan the energy efficiency upgrades. “We’re really looking forward to getting everyone into the new office.”

Parke County REMC sold the previous building to the town of Rockville. The cooperative’s board of directors and executive team considered various properties before determining the new location, just east of Rockville near two main travel corridors. The new site will include enough space for the co-op’s vehicle fleet and a variety of materials. It will even incorporate a drive-thru window for members to pay their monthly bill.

“Our new building will provide us with unique opportunities to better serve the families and businesses on our lines,” said Chadd Jenkins, CEO of Parke County REMC. “We have proudly served our members and communities for more than 85 years, and we look forward to continue building upon that great legacy long into the future.”