November 15, 2011

City of Chicago Signs Energy Efficiency Agreement

Program will save taxpayer money by greening city buildings

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

The City of Chicago today signed a $4.9 million grant agreement with the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) that will help fund energy efficiency projects in City of Chicago buildings. The projects, totaling an $11 million investment in increasing energy efficiency, will support over 100 jobs and save the City of Chicago a projected $3.5 million a year in energy costs.

“The City is excited about this grant agreement and the benefit to the environment, the savings that will be realized, and job creation,” said Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. “We look forward to reducing our impact on the environment while at the same time supporting economic development and local jobs."

The energy savings projected are enough to power 4,842 Illinois homes for an entire year, or about 42.3 million kWh and 360,000 therms of energy saved on a yearly basis.

More energy efficient lighting will be installed, as well as pedestrian cross-walk signals, heating and cooling systems, and pumps and motors among other energy conservation measures among 115 projects across the City. Installations will range from occupancy sensors at the Homan Square Police Facility to the replacement of terminal 2 Gate lighting at O’Hare International Airport.  These projects will provide additional benefits such as safer cross-walks for pedestrians with the installation of countdowns as well as improved indoor air quality for City employees, which studies have shown increase comfort and productivity. This project is also charting a new collaborative path among City departments including the Chicago Department of Aviation, Department of General Services, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Water Management.

“We are grateful to receive this grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. It provides us the opportunity to retrofit our facilities with energy efficient equipment,” stated David J. Reynolds, Commissioner of the Department of General Services. “The grant will make an important contribution to our continued efforts to reduce energy and operational expenses”.

"Prior to the implementation of the Illinois Energy Now program, there had never before been a highly coordinated effort to achieve public sector energy reduction goals. Through this program, we are helping to lower the energy bills of schools, parks and police stations, while creating green sector jobs," said DCEO Director Warren Ribley.

The City of Chicago continues to recognize the importance of and benefits gained from energy efficiency including job creation, local economic development, and the efficient allocation of tax payer dollars. The City is also committed to working with DCEO on this pilot Public Sector Energy Efficiency Aggregation Program and looks forward to it being the start of an expanded long-term partnership with the State in the area of energy efficiency.