Retrofit Chicago Celebrated for Helping Residents, Businesses and City Buildings save Money, Increase Energy Efficiency
CHICAGO – Retrofit Chicago has been awarded the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) 2015 Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award.
Retrofit Chicago was launched in 2012 as part of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda. Retrofit Chicago is a voluntary program that is helping to drive energy efficiency improvements, and associated cost savings, job creation and greenhouse gas reductions in Chicago’s residential, commercial and municipal sectors.
“Retrofit Chicago strengthens Chicago by accelerating energy efficiency across the city,” said Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer with the City of Chicago. “Retrofit Chicago works with multiple partners to make it easier for residents and businesses to access the resources they need to make their homes and businesses more efficient, saving dollars and reducing emissions.”
Retrofit Chicago includes three related programs:
Since the start of the Residential Partnership in 2012, the program has achieved more than $7 million in savings and a 15 percent energy reduction in retrofitted homes. The city nearly doubled its original two-year goal of 7,750 retrofitted homes, and to-date has completed more than 16,000 in-depth retrofits, with more than 100,000 homes receiving free efficiency products.
The Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI) includes 50 buildings covering almost 39 million square feet that have each pledged to reduce energy use by 20 percent over five years. Current participants have collectively achieved a 7 percent reduction in energy use with an annual cost savings of $2.5 million, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 5,800 cars from the road.
The municipal part of Retrofit Chicago – starting with the Retrofit 1 project – uses private investment to accelerate retrofit projects in 60 city buildings. Retrofit 1, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust and its partners estimate that upon completion of the retrofit projects the city will save approximately $1.4 million in energy costs and reduce energy use by 18 percent across all buildings.
“Mayor Emanuel has a bold vision for the role energy efficiency plays in helping to make Chicago a more affordable, competitive, attractive, livable and sustainable city,” said Stacey Paradis, MEEA interim executive director. “MEEA is pleased to recognize the City of Chicago and Retrofit Chicago for its successful, cross-sector approach to improving energy efficiency.”
Bestowed annually at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (www.meeaconference.org), MEEA’s Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award is presented to an organization that has made a significant contribution to market transformation either through the implementation of a specific program or through a policy change.
About Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency. Now in its 13th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment across the Midwest increases.
The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region’s source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA’s membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area. www.mwalliance.org