Measuring Our Impact

Our Mission

Elevate Energy helps people do more with less energy. We design and implement programs that reduce costs, protect people and the environment, and ensure the economic and social benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most.

Board of Directors and Funders

Board of Directors

John Cleveland
Board Chair

Anne Evens

Anne Hallett

Chinwe Onyeagoro

Dan York

David Shryock

Dick Munson

Doug Farr

Jennifer Tescher

Margaret O’Dell

Martin Cohen

Robert Weissbourd

Scott Bernstein

Susan Estes


AmazonSmile Foundation

BMO Harris Bank

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Citi Foundation

City of Chicago

City of Iowa

Cook County, Illinois

The Crown Family

Energy Foundation

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Environmental Defense Fund

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation

Joyce Foundation

The JPB Foundation

LISC Chicago

McKnight Foundation

Natural Resources Defense Council

Northwestern University

Polk Bros. Foundation

University of California - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

US Department of Energy

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

US Environmental Protection Agency

University of Chicago Urban Labs

Our Greatest Assets

Elevate Energy staff have different interests and areas of expertise, but we all come to work each day to deliver smarter energy use for all.

Showcasing Energy Efficiency Benefits to National Decision Makers

We helped building owner Jim Saccone retrofit his 19-unit building in Chicago, creating healthier, cozier homes for his tenants and reducing his operating costs. In addition to air sealing and insulation work to keep units comfortable, we were able to connect Jim to over $22,000 in utility-funded incentives for the new boiler, lighting retrofit, and water efficiency fixtures. In the summer of 2017, we invited U.S. Representative Mike Quigley to tour Jim’s building to see how supporting clean energy programs can preserve healthy, affordable housing and create local jobs.


U.S. Representative Mike Quigley learns about the benefits of a high-efficiency boiler

Building owner Jim Saccone tells Representative Quigley about the positive feedback he received from tenants after making energy efficiency upgrades to his building

Making Motor City Multifamily Housing More Affordable

Elevate Energy and the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation implemented the Multifamily Green Initiative (MGI), which helps affordable multifamily property owners in underdeveloped areas of Detroit make efficiency investments in their buildings. We helped one MGI participant, Develop Detroit, identify energy efficiency, water efficiency, and solar installation options that could reduce energy use by 47 percent.


A multifamily building in Detroit receiving energy efficiency improvements through the MGI

A potential layout for the future solar installation at one of Develop Detroit’s properties

Celebrating 10 Years of Electricity Pricing Programs

We helped bring Ameren Illinois Power Smart Pricing and ComEd’s Hourly Pricing into the world, and we administer the programs today. Together, they have saved more than 50,000 participants $27 million on their energy bills.



“The most obvious reason is because it saves me money. But the program also teaches me about LOTS of ways that I can be more energy efficient!”

Angela O., Ameren Illinois Power Smart Pricing customer

“I like knowing how much energy I’m using and when so I can take greater control over my energy use and costs.”

Zdenek P., ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program customer

Improving Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs in Michigan

We worked on a study of Michigan’s low-income residential and nonprofit sectors to quantify the savings potential in these building types. We found that these underserved markets can significantly contribute to reducing Michigan’s greenhouse gas emissions, save low-income households money, and strengthen local economies.


Michigan low-income families on average spend 15% of their income on energy.

Home energy efficiency upgrades, like air sealing, insulation, lighting upgrades, and others, can reduce energy burden by savings between 15% and 30% on energy costs.

Helping Homeowners Breathe Easy

Elevate Energy installed ventilation systems in homes as part of a two-year study with the Illinois Institute of Technology. Poor indoor air quality can trigger asthma attacks and lead to repeated emergency room visits. Ventilation systems help circulate indoor air more efficiently, creating energy cost savings in addition to health benefits.


Elevate Energy Construction Analyst Tim Crowder talking with a homeowner and Breathe Easy participant about her water heater and ventilation system

2016 Financials

*Other includes Non-Operating and Fundraising expenses, of which Fundraising accounts for less than 1% of total expenses

Challenging Communities to Save Energy

We organized the Energy Education Challenge, where three central Illinois towns— Mason City, Petersburg, and Virden—competed to win money for their community through energy education. We helped residents learn to conserve energy and motivate their neighbors to do the same. A total of $50,000 was given out to communities and local organizations. During the course of the Challenge, almost 90 events were held and over 9,000 people were educated on ways to save energy.


We talked with residents at the Mason City Fall Festival about how to save money and energy (even the Mason County Fair Queen stopped by!)

Fairly Valuing Solar in Real Estate Markets

We’re teaching the real estate industry how to sell the sun. With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, we developed an online continuing education course for real estate agents, appraisers, and regulators to learn how to properly value residential solar photovoltaic systems in a real estate listing.


Helping Childcare Centers Serve More Families

Our nonprofit buildings program helps mission-oriented organizations dedicate more money to their services and less to utility bills. We facilitated efficiency upgrades for Chicago Commons, a social services organization serving Chicago families for more than 120 years. Simple lighting upgrades at a childcare center in Humboldt Park and an adult services center in Bronzeville are expected to save the organization roughly $8,631 on electricity annually.


“We are so grateful to be able to save on energy and costs at our facilities. We can now pursue projects that we otherwise would not have been able to during these uncertain budgetary times. The improvements will help us continue to provide quality services to our communities and families long into the future.”

Edgar Ramirez, President and CEO, Chicago Commons