Adams Electric Cooperative awards Penny Power Grants

The detectors light up in an arrow pattern pointing in the direction of the dangerous...
The detectors light up in an arrow pattern pointing in the direction of the dangerous electrical current.(WGEM)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:29 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The Tri-Township Fire Protection District has some new equipment to show off, and help firefighters, thanks to the Adams Electric Cooperative.

The cooperative hands out thousands of dollars in grants every year as part of their Penny Power Grants program.

Members sign up to round up their bill, and the extra cents are collected and awarded to various local organizations that need funding.

One such beneficiary was Tri-Township Fire Protection District, which was awarded nearly $1,000.

The money was spent on the purchase of several new voltage and current detectors.

The detectors go on a firefighter’s helmet and alerts them when dangerous electric currents are nearby.

Lt. Andy Wittler with Tri-Township Fire Protection District said the small device can make a large difference in keeping firefighters safe.

“It seems like every other year we’re good for a couple storms that blow powerlines down and it’s just a safety feature for us to have if we are coming up on a scene on a down powerline or a vehicle accident that’s taken a utility pole down,” said Wittler.

He said this is especially useful when calls come in late overnight and firefighters may be a bit tired or groggy and may not be as aware of their surroundings.

Wittler said the department is thankful for the grant funding, as firefighting budgets are often tight and may not always allow extra spending on important equipment.

Bill Stalder, manager of marketing and member services for Adams Electric Cooperative, said they are happy to help local organizations out in any way they can.

“As a member owned cooperative, we want to stay involved in the community. We love the fact that 70% of members actively participate in the penny power drive,” said Stalder.

He said the extra pennies on each bill usually amount to an extra $6 per member annually.

While that may seem small, it does add up quickly.

Since 2005, the penny power program has raised more than $600,000.

Organizations that have received the grants include: Liberty Elementary School, Toys for Tots, Transitions of Western Illinois, Clayton Public Library, Versailles Township, Ursa Willing Workers 4-H Club and more.

The next deadline to apply for a penny power grant is Jan. 2, 2023. Winners will be announced a week or two afterwards.

Applications and questions can be emailed to

You can find more information about the program by clicking here.

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