WTTW’s Chicago Tonight reported on how a local alliance called Energy Impact Illinois is helping thousands of Chicago metro-area homeowners save on energy bills.
Energy Impact Illinois is an alliance of government organizations, non-profits, and utility companies (like Nicor and ComEd), dedicated to helping communities in the Chicago metropolitan area become more energy efficient. The program helps homeowners overcome barriers that often prevent them from making their homes more energy efficient, including offering low- or no-cost energy assessments, instant rebates to cover upfront costs, and qualified contractors to do the home improvements.
On the Chicago Tonight program, CNT Energy’s Patrick MacRoy said, “we like to focus on the improvements that are going to have the most impactful, longest-lasting improvement. In most homes in our region that is adding insulation to the attic.”
Energy Impact Illinois is getting the word out about energy efficiency via energy impact “House Parties,” a hands-on event where a program expert and local contractor demonstrate how homes can waste energy and what steps to take to fix it. Over 400 homeowners have hosted a house party, an informative and entertaining experience with friends and neighbors: contractors use tools like a blower door to demonstrate how much air is getting in or out through small cracks and gaps, or infrared monitors to visually show temperature differences and exactly where insulation is missing.
This community-based approach has turned people on to the topic of energy efficiency and the program is gaining traction because it’s harnessing the power of neighbors talking to neighbors.
Energy Impact Illinois helps make homes more comfortable and protects the environment. It also creates local jobs.
Jim Scherpelz, president of contracting company Energy360 Solutions said that Energy Impact Illinois is, “a good outreach organization. We’ve done a fair number of projects utilizing funding and identifying customers through the house parties.” In fact, Scherpelz was at one of the first house parties hosted by the alliance last year. “We’re getting business that wasn’t otherwise there for us,” he said.
The program has recently been extended. Homeowners still have time to take advantage of the rebates and incentives and lower energy costs, but act fast to ensure you get all work completed in time for the new August 26 deadline. For information on retrofitting your own home for up to 70 percent off the sticker price, or to host your own house party, call 855-9-IMPACT (855-946-7228).