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.