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As part of the 2014 Earth Day celebration, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the residential partnerships of the City's Retrofit Chicago program, is ahead of schedule on the Mayor's goal to retrofit residential units to increases energy efficiency in Chicago homes.
The Mayor set a goal in August 2012 of retrofitting 7,750 residential units within 24 months. The program has already exceeded this goal by retrofitting 7,820 residential units by March of 2014. Through simple actions such as upgrading to energy efficient lighting or installing air sealing and insulation, these retrofits will help residents save over $3.8 million in annual energy costs.
"I am proud Chicago's residents have taken advantage of our energy efficient programs," said Mayor Emanuel. "The City continues to be a leader in sustainability and with the help of the Chicago Energy Data Map, Chicagoans can confidently make the decision to save money and conserve resources by bringing their home into the 21st century."
Through the City's Retrofit Chicago program, Mayor Emanuel identified energy efficiency as a priority for strengthening Chicago to make the city the most affordable, competitive, and sustainable city of the 21st century. The residential partnerships of Retrofit Chicago aims to help home owners easily and affordably retrofit their homes and buildings by providing access to financial incentives for improvements, a one-stop-shop to find related sustainability programs, as well as coordinated and targeted outreach in designated energy efficiency zones.
The Mayor also unveiled a new interactive map tool to help Chicagoans visualize energy usage across the City. Using 2010 natural gas and electricity usage data, residents can compare their energy use versus other neighborhoods and block and also track the map's leaderboard to see which communities are saving the most money through energy efficiency. The tool also offers tips on what residents can do to improve home energy efficiency.
By going to cityofchicago.org/energymap, Chicagoans can enter their address and see how their energy usage compares against other blocks in the neighborhood. The website also illustrates how easy it to sign up for Retrofit Chicago. The map was created in collaboration with several partners including ComEd, Peoples Gas, Accenture, Elevate Energy, Citizens' Utility Board, and Civic Consulting Alliance. Residential buildings consume almost half of the City's total energy. The Energy Map tool was created through the City's partnership with data science firm Datascope Analytics (datascopeanalytics.com) and design and innovation consulting firm IDEO.
"Under Mayor Emanuel's leadership Chicago has continued to be a world-class standard of
sustainability," said Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. "This new tool will allow Chicagoans to better understand their energy use by illustrating a side-by-side comparison, creating a context in which these critical sustainability investments are made by residents."
The Residential Partnership and website were conceived by the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team. Chicago is one of five cities to receive an Innovation Delivery Team grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Since launching in November 2011, the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team has made Chicago the first city in the nation to include energy costs in home listings, launched the Chicago Neighborhood Energy Challenge pilot competition, and helped design the Small Business Center to serve as a one-stop-shop for small businesses. Part of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Project, Innovation Delivery Team grants were also awarded to Atlanta, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans.
By using the new energy map tool and participating in Retrofit Chicago, residents directly support the achievement of the Mayor Emanuel's environmental roadmap, Sustainable Chicago 2015, in particular a goal to improve citywide energy efficiency by 5 percent.
Owners can learn more about money saving energy efficiency programs available to them and can request an energy assessment by calling 855-9-IMPACT or visiting the City website HERE.