CNT Energy Releases Profiles of Energy Use in 283 Chicago-Area Municipalities
Last year, CNT began conducting workshops for communities with technical questions about their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program federal money and to identify best practices, kicking off the Municipal Energy Profile Project (MEPP) for the 7-county Chicago region. This week, CNT Energy has released the results of MEPP, an effort to produce customized Municipal Energy Profiles for 283 communities in the Chicago metropolitan region.
The Municipal Energy Profiles provide unprecedented collections of information that local leaders can use to understand energy use in their communities, reduce energy expenses, and measure progress toward environmental goals. These reports are especially timely given the federal and state energy efficiency dollars and other funding opportunities that are currently available to local municipalities.
The Municipal Energy Profile Project (MEPP) provides all 283 municipalities in the seven-county Chicago metropolitan region with detailed breakdowns of annual citywide energy consumption, vehicle miles traveled, and greenhouse gas emissions data. Each profile is designed to give the municipality information about how energy is consumed by residents and businesses in the community and to help the municipality prioritize strategies for energy efficiency and conservation. The emissions profile included in each report also provides a starting point for the development of a municipal sustainability or climate action plan.
At the local level, the profiles are important because this is the first time that the municipalities have had access to this type of comprehensive analysis of energy use and emissions. The profiles give each community an accurate benchmark of energy use, and they make it possible to estimate the potential benefits of various energy saving strategies and programs.
“This project gives municipalities better, more accurate data so they can make more informed decisions about energy use,” said Lindy Wordlaw, senior planner at CNT Energy. “These profiles provide a great starting point that municipalities can use to set goals, and to find the energy saving strategies that will work best for their communities. The profiles also give them a baseline, so they can measure their progress toward their goals,” she said.
At the regional level, the project is notable because the Chicago metropolitan region is one of just a few nationwide to have produced such detailed energy and emissions analyses for each community across the region. The project strengthens the region’s position as a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency. Communities that use the profiles to develop programs that reduce energy use will benefit from lower energy costs while building the region’s reputation as a sustainable and affordable place to live and do business.
The Municipal Energy Profile Project is funded by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The profiles were developed in cooperation with the major utilities in northern Illinois and Illinois Department of Transportation. The reports are available at no cost to the municipalities.
Download a fact sheet about the Municipal Energy Profile Project here.
(Original post at CNT Energy’s blog)