Nearly 50 additional low-income homes in Cook County will soon undergo free energy-efficiency upgrades from ComEd and area natural gas companies, the result of a pair of grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago).
Two grants, totaling more than $715,000, were recently awarded to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA). The funds will help MEEA further collaborate with ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas on an ongoing program to rehabilitate the homes of low-income residents so that they can receive energy-efficiency improvements and services that can lower monthly energy bills.
“MEEA is honored to partner with the Federal Home Loan Bank, Providence Bank and Illinois utilities to address a problem facing so many homeowners. This braided funding will help make these homes safer and more energy efficient, so the residents can save money on their utility bills,” said Stacey Paradis, MEEA Executive Director.
Cook County homeowners who qualify for upgrades must have total household incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income which for a family of four is $62,520. The homes must also have identified structural or health and safety issues that need to be addressed before energy-efficiency improvements and services can be safely completed.
For ComEd customers, improvements and services are part of the award-winning ComEd Energy Efficiency program which, since 2008, has saved participating families and businesses more than $7 billion on their electric bills and helped remove the same amount of carbon emissions from the air equivalent to planting more than 30 million acres of trees.
“The ability to assist more low-income homes supports ComEd’s focus on equity for all customers,” said Melissa Washington, ComEd's chief customer officer and senior vice president of customer operations. “These homes tend to be older in design, with structural, health and safety issues, such as water leaks, that must be addressed before energy-efficiency technologies can be installed. Improvements to these homes means more families can take advantage of programs that help them save energy and manage bills through the life of their homes.”
The FHLBank Chicago grants awarded to MEEA, in partnership with Providence Bank, are among 35 totaling $20.6 million. They are designed to support the acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction of more than 1,600 housing units across Illinois and Wisconsin. MEEA’s application was submitted in partnership with ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.
With the FHLBank Chicago grants, MEEA and the utilities will be able to invest approximately $20,000 in services to each low-income home. The projects are scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed within 36 months.
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