CHICAGO — The city of Chicago has launched the third phase of Retrofit Chicago — the Residential Partnership. This effort brings together nonprofit groups, utility companies, and city government programs to accelerate the number of retrofits being completed in single-family homes and multi-unit apartment buildings.

“Building on the success of our public and commercial buildings initiatives, this phase of Retrofit Chicago will help homeowners across the city modernize their homes while at the same time creating new jobs and bringing real savings to building owners,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Retrofit Chicago will impact communities that need the help the most and nearly 8,000 homes and apartments will soon be able to realize hundreds of dollars in annual savings. This would not be possible without a broad, important partnership of city government, utility companies, and community organizations.”

The Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership will bring together ComEd, Peoples Gas, CNT Energy, the Community Investment Corporation, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association, and the city of Chicago.

Residential buildings in Chicago are said to consume almost half of the city’s total energy. This is due, in part, to the fact that older buildings are historically inefficient and the average age of residential buildings in Chicago is 83 years old. According to city officials, many owners find energy efficiency improvements cost prohibitive and confusing and simply do not know where to start making improvements. The aim of this residential initiative is to help owners easily and affordably retrofit their homes and buildings, solving these problems by providing access to financial incentives for home and building improvements, a one-stop-shop to access programs, and coordinated and targeted outreach in designated energy zones.

More than 6,700 apartments and 1,000 single-family homes are expected to be retrofitted through the Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership over the next 18-24 months. According to the city, apartment buildings that are retrofitted increase in value and can save on average $10,000 annually in energy bills. Homeowners who retrofit their home can see a 15 percent reduction in their energy costs, approximately $350 annually.

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Publication date: 9/3/2012