Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership FAQs

For a more detailed program overview and in-depth descriptions of current partner offerings for Chicago homeowners, property managers, and residential building owners, please refer to the frequently asked questions and related content. View this video to learn more about how the Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership began.

Why should I contact the Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership?

  • By calling 1-855-9-IMPACT or signing up online you have access to a one stop shop of all the energy efficiency products and services currently offered by partners that can save you money.  Take advantage of free expert advice, free and discounted energy-saving products, and affordable energy retrofits for your home or residential property.  

What can the Retrofit Chicago offer a single family homeowner?

  • Schedule an energy efficiency assessment and receive expert recommendations in person and in a printed report to help you make your home or property more efficient. This leads to saving energy and money on your utility bills. Single family home energy audits are available for a fee or for free if you host a house party for Elevate Energy to tell friends and neighbors about their services.
  • Our utility partners offer free installation on free energy-saving products with your assessment.
  • Rebates are available for smart thermostats, furnaces, central air conditioners, clothes washers, refrigerators and others appliances.  Visit the ComEd and Peoples Gas websites for a full listing of available rebates. ComEd also offers instant in-store lighting discounts on LEDs at retailers near you.
  • Energy efficiency experts can connect you to qualified trade ally contractors to complete the recommended retrofit measures on a time table that fits your needs and you can decide to pursue all or none of the recommended retrofit improvements to your home.
  • You can sign for My Account to manage your energy use more closely, particularly if you already have a ComEd smart meter installed. You can learn more about smart meters and their benefits by exploring the Smart Grid for a Smart Chicago page.
  • Chicago residents are eligible to purchase a smart thermostat at a discounted rate when you sign up for Retrofit Chicago and schedule the free assessment with direct installation of free products. Additionally, you’ll receive free expert installation of your new smart thermostat. Be sure to mention this offer when scheduling an assessment or direct installation. Learn more about smart thermostats and how they can save you money.

What kinds of financing tools can the partnership connect single family homeowners to?

  • For bungalow and some vintage homeowners, they can be connected to income qualifying grants through our Chicago Bungalow Association (HCBA) partner.
  • Also available are current rebates to pay for part of the cost of efficient products such insulation and air sealing of your property, heating and cooling products, and household appliances.
  • On-bill financing is also offered  to residential properties to pay for larger retrofit measures including attic insulation and air/duct sealing and select heating, cooling, and household products. Qualifying customers can pay a small portion at a time on their monthly utility bill. 

What can the Residential Partnership offer owners of multi-family buildings?

  • Owners and property managers of multi-family buildings can take advantage of free energy assessments and free installation of energy-saving products in tenant units and common areas. Additional special rebate offerings for common area prescriptive and custom energy effiency opportunities are available. Retrofit Chicago partners can also help building owners and property managers monitor their retrofit improvements from the initial assessment. There are several available resources to help with picking qualified contractors to finding available financing that can help customers. Personalized savings reports are also available. Elevate Energy also provides two years of post-retrofit energy and financial savings analysis to ensure return on investment for property owners.
  • If you own an all electric heat building you are eligible for a special program offered by Elevate Energy.  You can still sign up through Retrofit Chicago's sign up page
  • After your retrofit measures are complete or even before, you can sign up for My Account to manage your energy use more closely, particularly if you already have a ComEd smart meter installed. You can learn more about smart meters and their benefits by exploring the Smart Grid for a Smart Chicago page.
  • A special offer that Chicago residents are eligible for, including multi-family buildings with 2-4 residential units is a smart thermostat rebate. Multi-family buildings with 5 or more rental or condo units should inquire whether their building qualifies for smart thermostat rebates.

What kind of multi-family financing options can Retrofit Chicago connect me to?

  • You can be connected to financing options including Community Investment Corporation’s Energy Savers Loans.
  • Current rebates from Peoples Gas and ComEd that are offered to multi-family properties for efficiency products such insulation and air sealing of your property, heating and cooling products, and household appliances.
  • On-bill financing that allows you to pay for larger retrofit measures such as a certain heating and cooling products and air sealing and insulation over time by paying a portion each month on your monthly utility bill. You can learn more about on-bill financing as part of your assessment report or from Community Investment Corporation.

What can Retrofit Chicago offer renters?

  • Renters can take advantage of many of the available single family and multi-family opportunities already described on this FAQ page. Please encourage your property manager or owner to schedule a free assessment with energy-saving products installation.

How can making my home or building more energy efficient improve the value of the property?

  • Retrofit Chicago, in partnership with Elevate Energy, Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED) and others, is also helping homebuyers make more informed purchasing decisions. In 2013 Chicago became the first municipality in the nation to disclose residential energy costs when a home is listed for sale via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The energy cost disclosure reports display annual and monthly gas and electric costs and help homebuyers make smart comparisons about the total cost of home ownership. Potential homebuyers should talk to their Realtors® to see this information online on MRED’s connectMLS site.

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