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New Website Helps Chicago-Area Residents Save Money, the Environment

Energyimpactillinois.org is a one-stop, localized shop for energy-saving deals for property owners.

There's a new resource for property owners who want to shoot for energy efficiency.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and partners launched a site Thursday that contains information about rebates and tips for efficiency for property owners, business owners and home owners. To figure out which resources are available in your area, customers simply have to enter their zip code.

“Our goal with Energy Impact Illinois is to simplify the process of taking energy efficiency actions,” said Randy Blankenhorn, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), in a press release. “With so many possible choices, the process can seem complex. We are making it easier for people to save both money and energy, and to live more comfortably.”

"The full intent of the system is to do a lot of the legwork for the consumer," Dan Olson, a chief energy policy advisor for CMAP, told Patch, "Instead of just going on and Googling 'I want to go green in Chicago' and getting a huge laundry list of things that are disparate  this information system is going to filter it for them."

A lot of the resources available are utility-related rebate programs, according to Olson. Meanwhile, more financing programs will be added to the catalog for consumers over the next few months, according to Jill Leary, a CMAP spokesperson.

In addition to engaging communities on long-term environmental health in their areas, the site also aims to grow the "green job" market.

“Reducing energy consumption will help create green jobs and stimulate the economy,” Blankenhorn said. “In the long run, the Chicago region will be a better place to live when we reduce carbon emissions.”

And since Energy Impact Illinois was funded by a grant grant through the U.S. Department of Energy’s BetterBuildings Initiative, it will serve as a model of best-practice guides for comprehensive retrofit programs to eventually implement nationally.

"This will be a three-year campaign and we’ll keep adding things to it, and we’re also working on different tools that will help homeowners," Leary said. "We really want to expand the way you can find concrete, environmental actions you can take based on geography."

Janice Cha June 06, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Andrea, heads up on a typo in the web address. Should be: http://energyimpactillinois.org/residential/ I'm looking forward to exploring the site!! Thanks for the timely info.
Andrea Hart June 06, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Thanks Janice! I also think it'll be interesting to see what local options are available for saving.
Janice Cha June 06, 2011 at 02:53 PM
They seem to have a lot of solid info. I didn't immediately find any discounts or rebates for the 60053 area... but their list of energy saving ideas were comprehensive. ........ I have to say that our single biggest energy saving move to date was getting the attic professionally insulated with blow-in cellulose. It's made an amazing improvement to keeping our house cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

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