Chicago to Initiate Energy Efficiency Upgrades

RAHM Emanuel, the new Mayor of Chicago, U.S.A. is displaying his green credentials by announcing an energy efficiency retrofit programme for 100 of the city’s buildings.

The buildings will receive the upgrades in lighting, mechanical equipment and water conservation technology through the "Guaranteed Energy Performance Contracting" program.

The city will initially identify which buildings will benefit from upgrades, primarily those with the biggest waste of energy, such as the Harold Washington Library, Chicago’s City Hall, the 911 center, various police and fire stations plus elementary and high schools.

The energy efficient retrofits will save local taxpayers between $4 million to $5.7 million annually, reducing the carbon footprint for each building as well as creating a predicted 375 direct jobs and another 1,100 in related jobs. 

Funding for the programme, some $40 million, will be raised by the city through private financing. To help achieve this, the city will implement the programme through Energy Service Companies.

Already energy efficiency upgrades at Chicago’s Richard J. Daley Center have saved the city $600,000 annually, with the Sears Tower in 2009 initiating a $350 million energy retrofit to reduce electricity use by 80 percent. 

Picture of Chicago City Hall by Michael Lehet

Wednesday 20th July 2011

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