A Year of Transforming, Delivering, and Building

Elevate Energy is dedicated to promoting smarter energy use for all. We design and implement programs that reduce costs, protect people and the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most. Our team builds strong connections in the places we work and we are leaders in reaching groups that have typically been underserved by energy programs. We deliver high-quality programs and services that contribute to healthy, thriving communities.

We currently face two of the largest challenges of our time: climate change and unparalleled levels of inequality. We’re working to transform the energy system into one that is cleaner, more inclusive, and equitable. Problem solving is in our DNA—we deliver benefits to economically disadvantaged communities and effectively build systems to support our people and our mission. We’re also collaborating with community partners and leveraging each other’s expertise to take significant action.

Looking to the future, we recommit to our mission each day and focus our goals on providing equitable access to the clean energy economy—and the cost savings, jobs, and improved health it creates—for the communities that need it most.

Anne Evens, CEO, Elevate Energy

2018 Successes

Reduced 6,918 metric tons of CO2e, equivalent to taking 1,469 cars off the road for an entire year. Helped families save over $2.4 million on utility bills. Kept 15,248 homes safe and affordable with efficiency and health and safety improvements. Helped 95% of graduates from our solar training program find employment. Served more than 115,000 families with our demand response and dynamic pricing programs. Educated 379,420 people on how to save energy. Taught 831 real estate professionals how to properly value and sell. solar and high performance homes. 53,485 municipal streetlights retrofitted to energy efficient LEDs. Kept nearly 600 children safe from lead exposure in drinking water.
Reduced 6,918 metric tons of CO2e, equivalent to taking 1,469 cars off the road for an entire year Helped families save over $2.4 million on utility bills Kept 15,248 homes safe and affordable with efficiency and health and safety improvements Helped 95% of graduates from our solar training program find employment Served more than 115,000 families with our demand response and dynamic pricing programs Educated 379,420 people on how to save energy Taught 831 real estate professionals how to properly value and sell solar and high performance homes 53,485 municipal streetlights retrofitted to energy efficient LEDs Kept nearly 600 children safe from lead exposure in drinking water

Training a Diverse Workforce for Solar Job Opportunities

Elevate Energy was instrumental in the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) in 2016, which created opportunities for a new and diverse energy workforce. One of FEJA’s early successes was the graduation of the first cohort of trainees from the FEJA Solar Jobs Training Program. Elevate Energy worked with numerous community partners to recruit returning citizens, foster care alumni, and members of environmental justice communities and equip trainees to enter the solar workforce. The program concluded with a group of over 20 graduates who attended a hiring event with solar and construction businesses. Over 95% of graduates are now employed.


Delivering Innovative Solar Technology to Chicago

This summer, we partnered with Mohawk Group, Groundswell, and The Renaissance Collaborative to install one of the first solar installations under the Future Energy Jobs Act; the SmartFlower™, an innovative solar system designed to easily produce clean energy at homes or businesses, was placed in The Renaissance Collaborative’s community garden. Alongside our partners, community members, students from our solar training program, and local media, we discussed how we can come together to bring solar energy and educational opportunities to communities across Illinois.


Offering Solar Energy Access to Everyone

Elevate Energy was thrilled to be selected as the administrator for the Illinois Solar for All program. The groundbreaking program, created under the Future Energy Jobs Act, will promote equitable access to the solar economy, including the jobs it creates, in both urban and rural neighborhoods across the state. We are particularly well-positioned to lead this important effort after engaging communities with innovative energy efficiency, solar, and job-training programs for nearly 20 years. The program will provide incentives for solar development in low-income and environmental justice communities, offering households and the organizations that serve them savings on their energy bills.


Reducing the Risk of Lead Exposure in Water for Illinois Children

Source: El Hogar del Niño

Elevate Energy partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on a pilot project to investigate new approaches for testing lead in water and remediation in child care facilities. Illinois is emerging as a leader in combating the risks of lead exposure in water by requiring testing at child care facilities. Children’s developing bodies absorb more of the lead they are exposed to than their adult counterparts, which can lead to detrimental health and development impacts. We tested and removed sources of lead at four nonprofit child care facilities in Chicago that provide affordable services to low-income families. Results from the pilot are encouraging: lead in water was addressed for nearly 600 children at critical child care facilities.


Saving Families Money through Our Electricity Pricing Programs


It’s easy to do, it saves you money, and you don’t have to do anything out of your regular schedule.”
Karen Wise, Ameren Illinois Power Smart Pricing customer

We administer Ameren Illinois Power Smart Pricing and Peak Time Rewards and ComEd’s Hourly Pricing to help utility customers save money on their energy bills. This year, more than 115,000 customers have saved $2.4 million on their energy bills.


Funding Energy Improvements at Critical Child Care Centers

Source: Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center

Our nonprofit buildings program helps mission-oriented organizations dedicate more money to their services and less to utility bills. Elevate Energy worked with Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) to identify opportunities to save on their energy costs. ChicagoCAC is the front-line responder in Chicago to reports of child sexual abuse, and since opening their doors in 2001, they have served more than 30,000 children.

When the State of Illinois budget was frozen in 2016, many of ChicagoCAC’s funding streams halted. We kept working with ChicagoCAC and in 2018 we were able to help them obtain grant funds and utility incentives to cover all costs of a lighting retrofit project. The project is estimated to save the nonprofit about $8,450 annually on electricity bills.


Bringing Energy Efficiency Services to Oregon

Source: NOAH

As we pursue our mission of smarter energy use for all, we are growing nationally—expanding the reach of our programs, services, and research in collaboration with partner organizations. We were excited to partner with New Ecology, Inc. and the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH) to help affordable multifamily building owners in Oregon reduce operating costs through energy and water efficiency measures. We offer building owners a suite of predevelopment services at no cost to reduce energy use and improve the health and comfort of their buildings.


Helping Iowa City Plan for Climate Change

We partnered with the City of Iowa City, Inova Energy Group, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology to create the Iowa City Climate Action and Adaption Plan. Through an intensive community engagement process, we helped the City establish a series of 35 actions to reduce emissions in categories including buildings, transportation, waste, sustainable lifestyle, and an adaptation category to address the already changing climate. The Plan, which aims to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2025 and by 80 percent by 2050, will help Iowa City build an economy and community to sustain its residents and the environment long into the future.


Improving Energy Efficiency Programs with Better Data

Of any sector, buildings use the most energy and produce the most carbon emissions, and until recently, energy efficiency programs have rarely been tailored to the specific needs of multifamily buildings. This is all changing, in part, because we have better data about these buildings’ needs. We did a segmentation analysis in partnership with the national Energy Efficiency for All initiative in which we constructed a database of 143,000 multifamily buildings in Chicago to better understand the city’s multifamily sector. The data in the segmentation analysis can inform better program design and be leveraged to motivate building owners to retrofit their buildings.


Reducing Northwestern University’s Climate Impact

Elevate Energy has worked with Northwestern University over the past five years to benchmark and present a full picture of energy use at all 221 university-owned buildings. Northwestern University has a clear commitment to a healthier and more sustainable future through sustainNU, a university-wide program that aims to engage students, faculty, and staff in reducing and eliminating Northwestern’s contribution to climate change. By benchmarking buildings, Northwestern can more accurately manage energy usage, identify buildings in need of improvements, and monitor progress toward sustainability goals. In 2018, Northwestern University became the first university in over a decade to receive the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for Energy Management.


Our Greatest Assets

Photo of Elevate Energy employees at the ACE Rule Rally

Our team now numbers more than 100 staff members with a broad range of expertise. We are engineers, construction experts, data analysts, urban planners, energy analysts, designers, marketing and outreach specialists, accountants, and more. As we grow, our team remains dedicated to pursuing our mission and to providing the highest quality programs and services.

2017 Financials

Total Revenue: $19.2 million. Contracts 78%, Grants 28%, Other 0%. Total Expense: $17.5 million. Program Expenses 84%, General and Administrative 15%, Other 1%.

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

Board of Directors

  • John Cleveland,
    Board Chair
  • Dave Shryock
    Board Treasurer and Vice Chair
  • Anne Evens
  • Scott Bernstein
  • Marty Cohen
  • Susan Page Estes
  • Doug Farr
  • Anne Hallett
  • Dick Munson
  • Margaret O’Dell
  • Jennifer Tescher
  • Bob Weissbourd
  • Dan York


  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Cedar Tree Foundation
  • Citi Foundation
  • City of Chicago
  • City of Detroit
  • City of Iowa City
  • City of Lancaster (PA)
  • Crown Family Philanthropies
  • Elizabeth Morse Genius Chartiable Trust
  • Energy Foundation
  • Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Power Agency
  • Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • The JPB Foundation
  • Kaplan Family Foundation
  • LISC Chicago
  • The Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Northwestern University
  • Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Presence Health
  • Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
  • University of Chicago Urban Labs
  • Urban Institute/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • US Department of Energy
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • US Environmental Protection Agency