Using energy efficiently is a critical focus of CNT’s efforts to improve urban sustainability. In 2000, CNT created the Community Energy Cooperative to organize neighborhood-specific responses to address brownouts affecting the Chicago area. The Cooperative became CNT Energy, took on other important energy issues, and in 2014 changed its name to Elevate Energy℠.
As an affiliate of CNT, Elevate Energy designs and implements efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those who need them most. They apply this triple bottom line approach at the household, building, and community level:
- Ensuring households benefit from the smart grid through consumer education and innovative pricing options, such as ComEd’s Residential Real-Time Pricing and Ameren Illinois’ Power Smart Pricing programs.
- Making energy efficiency upgrades in buildings easy and affordable by serving as a trusted third party advocate for owners by connecting them to the information, capital, and/or labor necessary to move forward with efficiency improvements. Financing made available by partner lender Community Investment Corporation and other incentives and rebates help owners pay for upfront improvement costs that pay back over time.
- Bringing efficiency to scale by removing systemic barriers or building bridges that make community-wide efficiency possible. Elevate Energy works with the real estate community to appropriately value energy efficiency upgrades at the point of sale/purchase to build demand for retrofits. Additionally, Elevate partners with contractors to ensure their construction work maximizes energy efficiency gains.
Elevate Energy and CNT also work together to on the water-energy nexus, incorporating CNT’s water conservation and flood prevention measures into Elevate Energy’s building retrofit programs.
To learn more about Elevate Energy, visit ElevateEnergy.org.