Chicago Region Awarded $25 Million for Energy Efficiency Programs

DOE Secretary Stephen Chu & Vice President Joe BidenCongratulations to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and its partners, City of Chicago and City of Rockford, for receipt of a $25 million Department of Energy (DOE) “Retrofit Ramp-Up” award. This award recognizes the work that is being done in the Chicago area and will help expand implementation of energy efficiency programs across the region.

“This grant represents unprecedented new opportunities for the Chicago region to accelerate efforts for high performing energy efficiency initiatives,” said Scott Bernstein, President of CNT, who attended today’s announcement at the White House. “This award will help organizations around the region to expand existing initiatives and create new ones that save real money for households and building owners while also reducing our region’s carbon footprint.”

This regional initiative will build on the success of existing energy efficiency programs, including CNT’s Energy Savers Program, which is substantially reducing energy costs in tens of thousands of apartments. The DOE award will enable the creation of a one-stop shop to assist home and business owners to identify financing and implement cost effective energy efficient renovations to their buildings. The focus will be on expanding the availability of a trained work force, providing information and financing to building owners to increase demand for energy efficient renovations and reducing the costs of customer acquisition for contractors.

The competition for funds from the US Department of Energy emphasized the ability to effectively scale up retrofit activity and achieve substantial energy savings. CMAP’s proposal on behalf of the Chicago region, envisions a coordinated system that builds on Chicago’s existing strengths and develops a set of comprehensive and coordinated services for the region.  Chicago’s proposal exemplified the findings of the Middle Class Task Force, led by Vice President Biden, which recognized that successful energy efficiency initiatives require coordinated one-stop service delivery that packages specialized information, skillful contractors and affordable financing so that both homeowners and renters can share in a set of true economic benefits together.

The Chicago area’s ability to put together a strong proposal was also greatly enhanced by the activities of Chicago’s philanthropic community, which has supported existing initiatives to develop the Chicago Climate Action Plan, create the Preservation Compact, and support the development of effective energy efficiency programs. These programs not only save energy, but preserve affordable housing, enhance community economic security, create jobs, and contribute to global climate protection.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this award,” said Bernstein. “We look forward to helping Chicago become a model for the nation in “Ramping Up” high performance energy efficiency to benefit our families, our economy, and our environment.”

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