Utilities and City Team Up on Efficiency

July 2, 2019

PowerPlay: Utilities and City Team Up on Efficiency

Recognizing the breadth and scope of changes necessary to drive meaningful reduction in carbon emissions by Chicago’s real estate market, the Illinois Green Alliance is taking a team approach.

On June 26th the organization brought together a panel of core resources for commercial and residential building owners and managers in Chicago, where a number of programs have been developed and/or undergone significant change to address the unique needs of the City.  

“One of Illinois Green’s key roles is to inform consumers and property owners of the opportunities available to them to participate in the fight against climate change,” stated Brian Imus, Executive Director of the Illinois Green Alliance. “Of course the proposition for change becomes much more effective when building owners can realize clear economic advantages through programs offered by the city and our utilities.”  

Between ComEd, Peoples Gas and the Department of Planning and Development’s Chicago PACE programs there are several incentive programs designed to reduce the barriers to entry (namely costs) that are associated with investments in energy efficiency.

For more than a decade, ComEd has offered their Energy Efficiency Program with the goal of helping CRE owners of varying building types and scales gain access to project financing.  

“The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program is pretty comprehensive, as there are offerings that help customers with nearly every type of energy-saving project,” stated Jennifer Allen. “We offer free facility assessments, technical assistance and financial incentives for everything from lighting improvements and HVAC to refrigeration and building optimization,” she continued.

The Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Program has rebates that can help building owners yield significant savings, particularly related to steam, domestic hot water, and space heating. Peoples Gas also offers rebates to support public sector buildings, industrial sites, and residential properties.  

Both Peoples Gas and ComEd offer energy audit and evaluation services that can help save on utility expenses.

Crossing all aspects of the efficiency spectrum, the Department of Planning and Development’s Chicago PACE financing program offers long-term low cost financing from private capital providers for the full range of energy improvement and renewable energy investments in commercial properties.  

“Using PACE financing for energy improvements can help owners yield immediate positive cash flow from their permanent and fixed efficiency improvements, particularly when combined with incentives and tax credits,” stated Chicago PACE managing director, Jana Wesley. “We are working with owners, developers, contractors and equipment manufacturers on projects throughout the city that will make a significant impact on the City’s carbon footprint and quality of its building stock.”

Incentive and Financing Contacts:

Jennifer Allen, Outreach Professional, ComEd
Jenn Allen, LEED AP ID+C® |  Outreach Professional
Email: jenniferallen@waypoint-energy.com

Jana Wesley, Managing Director, Chicago PACE
Email: jana.wesley@chicagopace.org | www.chicagopace.org

Vanessa Perkins, Outreach Professional
Peoples Gas North Shore Gas Energy Efficiency Program
Email: vperkins@franklinenergy.com