Lincoln Square Tapped for Energy Efficient Retrofits

By Patty Wetli | Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Retrofit Chicago offers homeowners incentives to save energy. Credit: Patty Wetli

I know how my dad conserved energy — he didn’t believe in heat or air conditioning and spent every waking hour flipping off light switches. Chicago is taking more of a carrot than a stick approach. As part of an effort to make the city’s buildings more energy efficient — from skyscrapers to bungalows — residents will receive a number of incentives to modernize their homes with the goal of reducing energy usage and costs.

Lincoln Square is one of 12 communities announced for the newly-launched residential phase of Retrofit Chicago; previous phases addressed public and commercial structures. With residential buildings accounting for nearly half of the city’s energy consumption, largely due to their age — there’s no insulation in my circa 1929 condo building, how about yours — small changes could net big savings.

Home and building owners will have access to free energy efficient equipment such as highly efficient light bulbs, faucet aerators and shower heads, and more than $22 million in rebates, low interest financing and free energy audits (energy assessments cost $99 so be clear about what you ask for). Benefits differ depending on single-family home vs. apartment or condo; condos need a majority of units to participate in order to receive incentives. More information about the program is available online or by calling 855-9-IMPACT (855-946-7228, you’re welcome). Applications are available here.

Communities were selected for the retrofit based on a high concentration of multi-unit and/or single-family homes and a substantial opportunity to increase energy efficiency. In addition to Lincoln Square, the neighborhoods targeted by Retrofit Chicago are Auburn Gresham, Austin, Avalon Park, Beverly, Chatham, Edgewater, Logan Square, Mount Greenwood, Rogers Park, South Shore and West Ridge.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.dandelles Sarah Dandelles

    What are the boundaries? 

    • pattyw

       Information from the mayor’s office just says “Lincoln Square.” The press office hasn’t responded to queries to clarify info.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andyhealy1 Andy Healy

    Is this just for multi-family, or for single-family residences as well?

    • pattyw

       Definitely single-family too. Actually, more benefits are available to SFH than multi-unit from what I’ve gathered.

  • http://twitter.com/jeffreyharley j. harley

    Please forgive this comment as being off-topic but germane to this forum:

    There is a rash of arson going on in our neighborhood.  I am apparently the only person who is paying attention, but it happened again last night.  

    CSJ,  here is your last story and my comment on the string of fires and a plea for some more reporting:
    http://www.centersquarejournal.com/news/larchmont-fire-under-investigation (July)And here is last night’s arson reported by the Trib.  (If you read the Trib comments, you’ll notice that there was another fire just last night at 4000 N. Ashland.)http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-police-investigating-suspicious-garage-fires-in-andersonville-20120808,0,3251067.story (August)And just in case anyone needs context to this story, here is the magnitude of how many fires we are talking in the last six months.  Here is the list of properties: (Cited in article)  http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/12416571-418/story.html (May)- Twice in the 3900 block of North Ravenswood Avenue
    - Twice in the 4000 block of North Damen Avenue
    - 1700 block of West Irving Park Road
    - Twice in the 1900 block of West Irving Park Road
    - West Irving Park Road and North Wolcott Avenue
    - 4000 block of North Hermitage Avenue
    - 750 block of West Cornelia Avenue
    - North Halsted Street and West Cornelia Avenue
    - 3500 block of North Halsted StreetThat’s over 20 fires in the last 2 months in a half mile square radius.  Can we get some follow up on this?  Comment from CFD? CPD? CAPS meetings? Any leads? Has anyone looked at video surveillance? Is CFD keeping a track of the frequencies and timing of these fires? Are they gang related? 

    I really hope this is not all falling on deaf ears…

    And I’m not crazy- just concerned. 

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  • Scott Raybin

    This is great news. I have recently retrofitted all of the fixtures in my basement from old T12 to T5. It was pretty simple and I did it myself using a T5 retrofit kit.

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