Mason City, Petersburg, and Virden residents will face off to compete for a chance at up to $22,000 for their community in the new Energy Education Challenge by educating themselves and their neighbors on how to reduce their energy use.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory today released a report that supports a vision of solar and real estate advocates working together to make information about solar homes more accessible to home buyers and sellers. The report, “Capturing the Sun: A Roadmap for Navigating Data-Access Challenges and Auto-Populating Solar Home Sales Listings,” guides readers through a practical and realistic assessment to understand the key challenges and the best path forward to make solar data more available. Growing consumer demand for solar homes and the increase of inventories to more than 1.1 million U.S. homes has enhanced the case for an improved process for listing, valuing, and closing these homes.
Best Locations for Large-Scale Solar Power Installations in Chicago Region Now Mapped and Searchable
The Chicago area’s potential to develop large solar power installations is now easily accessible at the parcel level thanks to an interactive map launched today by the Cook County Department of Environmental Control and Elevate Energy. In addition to the interactive map, the Cook County Community Solar Portal, illinoiscommunitysolar.org, explains what “community solar” is, why it is important to the region, and financial structures to develop a community solar installation.
Over 10,500 customers on ComEd’s Hourly Pricing electric rate have collectively saved $15 million on their bills compared to what they would have paid on ComEd’s standard fixed price rate. The rate option is available to all ComEd customers with a smart meter, which ComEd is currently installing for all 4 million customers. Since the program started in 2007, Hourly Pricing participants have saved an average of 15 percent on their electricity supply costs compared with what they would have paid on the standard ComEd fixed-price rate.
Energy cost disclosure gains momentum as more real estate offices recognize the value of energy use data for all involved in the real estate transaction. A new disclosure tool has helped all Baird & Warner city offices and Chicago-based Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices secure their place as leaders in using this latest technology.
Nearly 40 percent of the City of Chicago’s rental housing is made up of two- to four-unit apartment buildings. Improving these buildings reduces utility bills and results in happier tenants, cozier apartments, and a healthier environment. Lower energy costs also help to keep housing affordable for working families. But for building owners, it can be difficult to figure out how to get started, and financing the upgrades can be an even bigger challenge.
The City of Chicago and Elevate Energy are partnering with Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), to offer the first-ever Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge. The Challenge will recognize brokerages in Chicago that adopt MRED’s Energy Cost Disclosure (ECD) tool and automate their listing process by preparing an energy cost disclosure report online, with up-to-the-moment data. As part of the Challenge, brokerages that complete a checklist will be publically recognized in an Earth Day press release.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the 50th building to join Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative alongside United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Commercial Buildings Initiative, a voluntary leadership effort to reduce energy use by 20 percent within 5 years, now reaches 50 buildings and almost 39 million square feet, making it one of the largest private sector voluntary efficiency programs in the country.
In addition to the Commercial Buildings Initiative milestone, the City also announced a new joint partnership with Elevate Energy to implement comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades in 2,500 electric heated apartment units and distribute efficiency products to an additional 7,500 households across Chicago over the next three years.
Chicago Apartment Building One of First in Midwest to Earn ENERGY STAR Certification for Multifamily Buildings
The Jeffery Parkway building, located at 6731 S. Jeffery Boulevard in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, is among the first buildings in the country to achieve the new ENERGY STAR® certification for multifamily buildings. The multifamily ENERGY STAR category is a new space type for the EPA.
Preliminary Analysis Suggests Chicago Homes that Disclose Energy Costs Spend Less Time on Real Estate Market
A preliminary analysis shows that Chicago single family real estate listings that disclosed energy costs spent less time on the market and had a higher closing rate. In July 2013, the City of Chicago became the first municipality in the country to disclose residential energy costs (gas and electric) when a home was listed for sale via a multiple listing service (MLS). The achievement was the result of a unique partnership between Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the MLS serving Chicago; City of Chicago Office of the Mayor; and Elevate Energy.
Conference Convenes Chief Experts from Private and Public Sectors to Explore Innovations in Clean Energy Finance
Today, Environmental Defense Fund, Citi, Elevate Energy and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are hosting “Innovations in Energy Efficiency and Distributed Generation Finance III,” a conference convening some of the utmost experts in the United States to explore innovative ways to fund energy efficiency projects across the country, focusing on the energy performance of the built environment such as homes, office buildings, factories and schools.
A new paper provides a pathway to document energy efficiency improvements made to existing homes so that appraisers, Realtors®, buyers, and sellers all understand and reflect the value of such upgrades in the real estate transaction. Co-written by CNT Energy and National Home Performance Council (NHPC), the paper shows how proper documentation, verification, and standardization of energy efficiency improvements can add value to a home that owners can recoup at sale.
An energy use analysis of 33 Cook County municipal buildings shows that low- and no-cost energy efficiency upgrades have reduced overall energy use by 11 percent in these buildings since 2010, saving taxpayers an estimated $3 million over the past three years. CNT Energy completed the energy use “benchmarking” effort for the County and analyzed more than 4.5 million square feet of space in Cook County owned buildings, roughly equivalent to the gross square footage of Willis Tower. The 33 buildings account for 25 percent of the County’s total square footage in its building portfolio. When all other projects currently underway are completed, 65 percent of the county’s buildings will be benchmarked.
For utilities seeking to meet energy efficiency goals, the multifamily housing sector represents a sizeable opportunity to achieve energy savings through targeted energy efficiency programs. In the report, Engaging as Partners: Introducing Utilities to the Energy Efficiency Needs of Multifamily Buildings and Their Owners, CNT Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) examine the factors that contribute to effective energy efficiency program design for multifamily buildings and recommend strategies that can help utilities design and implement energy efficiency programs to attract multifamily building owners and achieve significant energy savings.