Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chicago seeks private money to fund retrofits of public buildings

21022010646 Drew Ballensky writes, “Chicago seeks private money to fund energy retrofits on public buildings | Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 10:53.”

Helge: What are we doing in the field of energy efficiency in our cities?

The City of Chicago is attempting to attract private funds to pay for energy efficiency upgrades of nearly 100 public buildings. The buildings that together have more than 6.5 million square feet of space would be retrofitted at a cost of about $40 million, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.  (

Helge: We tend to think in terms of what is the government doing to boost investments in energy conservation and efficiency.

Projected energy savings on the city-wide retrofit program would be used to secure private financing. Annual energy savings is estimated to be $5.7 million, and the project is expected to create 375 jobs.

Helge: Is there a bigger saving potential in USA? I guess so.

The project will be modeled on the retrofit of the Richard J. Daley Center. That effort included an energy audit, followed by conservation measures including lighting upgrades, water conservation modifications to public restrooms, new boiler controls, and variable air boxes for a pair of fan systems serving the building’s first eight floors. The Daley Center upgrades have cut $600,000 from the building’s annual utility bills.

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