MEEA Unplugged

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The Chicago Heights YouthBuild Cohort

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With many contractors suffering from a lack of enthusiastic and skilled workers, introducing young people into the energy efficiency industry is crucial. This industry is known for skewing primarily older (and nearing retirement), male, and lacking diversity. Partnering with community organizations that offer training opportunities to under-privileged youth is a great way to bring fresh, new faces into the industry and to encourage a more diverse workforce. In August, MEEA’s Illinois Home Performance (IHP) program worked with Chicago Heights’ YouthBuild cohort to bring energy efficiency education to young adults in Chicago’s south suburbs. YouthBuild is a program that provides youth living in poverty with pathways to education, jobs and…

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6 Tips for Weatherizing Your Commercial Building

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It’s that time of year to begin preparing your building for winter weather. We spoke with our BOC instructors from across the Midwest about adjusting your building for the changing seasons. Follow these tips to make sure your building is running as efficiently as possible this season.  Minimize outside air  Every cubic foot of air that is brought in from the outside must be conditioned. In summer it needs to be cooled and dehumidified, and in winter it needs to be heated. Therefore, every cubic foot that leaves the building that has been heated is now wasted energy. Minimize the uncontrolled air leakage and use CO2 levels to determine the controlled air exchange. - Michael Norden, Minnesota…

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3 Big Questions about Energy Use in Legal Cannabis Cultivation

indoor cannabis growing facility

Recreational cannabis hits the shelves January 1, 2020 in both Illinois and Michigan. How will the race to market impact energy use? Growing cannabis is an energy-intensive process, and as cultivators focus on getting product ready as quickly as possible, it will be easy for energy efficiency to get pushed to the backburner and energy consumption to rise. Consider early adopters like Colorado and Oregon: In Denver, cannabis facilities are consuming 4% of the city’s electricity, while Oregon has experienced localized blackouts due to the added strain on the electric grid from indoor cannabis facilities. The Midwest can learn from these early adopters to ensure energy efficiency targets and grid reliability initiatives are not compromised…

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