Funding for Energy Improvements Helps Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center Continue Critical Services
Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) and its partners are the front-line responders in Chicago to reports of child sexual abuse, as well as reports of physical abuse of children under age three. Since opening their doors in 2001, they have served more than 30,000 children.
Elevate Energy began working with ChicagoCAC in 2015 to identify opportunities for energy efficiency that qualified for incentives from ComEd’s Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) program. Elevate Energy assisted ChicagoCAC in soliciting a contractor proposal for a lighting project which included an SBES incentive to cover almost 40% of the project cost, making the payback period about three years.
Unfortunately, when the State of Illinois budget was frozen in 2016, many of ChicagoCAC’s funding streams halted. Nonetheless, the staff and partners at ChicagoCAC continued to offer their services to children in need. While ChicagoCAC leadership was very interested in the lighting project, the organization could not afford the remainder of the project costs that year.
We continued to work with ChicagoCAC and in 2017 were able to help it obtain grant funds in addition to SBES incentives to cover all project costs and complete the work. ChicagoCAC’s indoor and outdoor lighting has since been converted to LEDs with new controls. The project is estimated to save the nonprofit about $8,450 annually. This decrease in overhead costs allows additional resources to be redirected to fulfilling ChicagoCAC’s crucial mission and to weather future budgetary uncertainty.