Bank of Belleville sets environmental pace with newly installed solar array

Bank of Belleville is among the first businesses in the Metro East to adopt solar energy.

The bank had a 68-kilowatt solar energy production system installed this month to provide as much of the bank’s daily energy usage as the rooftop would allow.

Bank of Belleville President and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Stephens said the bank made the decision to install the panels at its flagship location as part of a long-term commitment to the local community — and the global one.

“I think our decision to utilize solar energy not only speaks to our dedication to environmental stewardship, but also our willingness to embrace new and innovative technologies,” said Stephens. “We take a throwback approach to banking. We are a bank that is committed to traditional values about personalized client services, but we also are open to new, beneficial technologies to enhance our business.”

Bank of Belleville has also been environmentally conscience in other areas, such as implementing electronic imaging for its record keeping system, producing as many documents as possible electronically rather than paper, migrating its team to mobile devices for client meetings and interaction, offering on-site recycling and encouraging clients to adopt electronic statements.

Stephens said the bank was able to utilize several Ameren incentives and federal tax credits to help supplement some of the initial installation cost for the project. EFS Energy was the project coordinator with Weeke Sales and Service serving as the electrical contractor.

Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said Bank of Belleville is one of the few businesses in the city utilizing solar energy and is the first downtown.

“From a long-term sustainability standpoint, I’m happy to see Bank of Belleville proving that going green makes good business sense in addition to being environmentally friendly,” said Mayor Eckert. “Utilizing solar panels can help businesses reduce reliance on an unpredictable expense and plan better for the future, so we’re happy to see businesses considering options that can help them stay viable for a long time.”

Bank of Belleville operates from its headquarters at 215 S. Illinois St. in Belleville. The 15-year-old bank, which is approaching a quarter of a billion dollars in assets, serves individual and business clients throughout the Metro East. The bank currently has 49 full- and part-time team members.

PHOTO: In this drone photo, recently installed solar panels can be viewed on the rooftop of Bank of Belleville.

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