CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced Illinois Energy Now grants to help more public sector entities – such as schools, parks and police – incorporate energy efficiency into their buildings and save money. Awarded through the Illinois Energy Now Public Sector Energy Efficiency Aggregation Program, the grants will provide an estimated $7.1 million in energy cost savings to public sector facilities, including schools, community colleges and local municipality buildings. The initiative will help create more than 100 green sector jobs.
“By improving energy efficiency in public facilities, we are making Illinois a greener place to live and work,” Governor Quinn said. “This program will help save money on public facility energy costs and create green sector jobs to keep our economy growing.”
The Illinois Energy Now program offers a portfolio of both electric and natural gas efficiency programs to achieve targeted annual energy savings goals. The program ensures that the state meets its annual energy savings targets in three sectors: units of local government, community colleges and K-12 schools. The state of Illinois works with the electric service territories of ComEd and Ameren Illinois, and gas service territories of Ameren Illinois, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas to ensure that the state meets its annual energy savings targets.
Grant recipients include the city of Chicago, the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) Community College Partnership, and the Metropolitan Mayors Council. Each of these grantees is responsible for identifying projects eligible for public sector incentives, administering the applications and implementation, and reporting back project data and progress.
|Grantee||Amount||Estimated Energy Cost Savings over 3 yrs|
|City of Chicago||$4.9 million||$3.5 million|
|Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) Community College Partnership||$2 million||$2.4 million|
|Metropolitan Mayors Council||$750,000||$1.2 million|
The County Commissioners Association was also awarded a $260,000 Illinois Energy Now grant to increase awareness of the energy efficiency incentives for public entities, with the goal of bringing in 60 projects that otherwise would not have had the technical resources to apply.
“Prior to the implementation of the Illinois Energy Now program, Illinois did not have a coordinated effort to achieve public sector energy reduction goals,” DCEO director Warren Ribley said. “Through this program, we are helping to lower the energy bills of schools, parks and police stations, while creating green sector jobs.”
The Illinois Energy Now program was created under the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard law, giving Illinois among the most ambitious energy efficiency standards in the nation. The initiative requires Illinois utilities to reduce overall electric usage by 0.2 percent of demand in 2008, escalating to 2.0 percent by 2015.
“Illinois' emphasis on energy efficiency is good policy and good for jobs because it puts our union brothers and sisters to work and provides public sector workers with more resources to make their communities better,” said Michael T. Carrigan, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO.
As part of Governor Quinn’s efforts to ensure greater energy efficiency and create more green industry jobs, the state’s energy efficiency programs created more than 1,440 direct and indirect jobs in the green economy last year. The State Energy Office within the Illinois Department of Commerce of Economic Opportunity administers public sector and low income programs, while utility partners – ComEd, Ameren Illinois, Nicor, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas – administer residential and business energy efficiency programs. For more information on Illinois Energy Now programs, visitwww.illinoisenergy.org.
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun