Launched to help improve the energy efficiency of residential, commercial and industrial properties, EnergyImpactIllinois.org is a new information hub for Chicago area residents. Site visitors will find resources to facilitate building improvements for homes and businesses that can save energy and money while reducing the region's carbon footprint.
According to a press release, the information hub is an initiative of Energy Impact Illinois, an alliance of the region's primary planning organization, utility companies, government agencies and citizen advocacy groups.
"Our goal with Energy Impact Illinois is to simplify the process of taking energy efficiency actions," said Randy Blankenhorn, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the lead agency implementing the Energy Impact Illinois effort. "With so many possible choices, the process can seem complex. We are making it easier for people to save both money and energy, and to live more comfortably."
Online tools include resources and financing opportunities for single-family home owners, multifamily building owners and commercial and industrial building owners. Additional features will come online later this year.
The site includes tips for energy efficiency, such as installing CFL bulbs and replacing an old and inefficient furnace. The average Illinois household spends $3,000 per year on energy. Making efficiency improvements can generally help reduce these costs by 15 percent to 30 percent.
Other suggestions on the site include:
- Upgrading a broken or outdated appliance to a more energy-efficient model
- Installing a programmable thermostat
- Using ceiling fans to circulate air
- Lower the temperature on a hot water heater to 120 degrees
- Close window shades in summer
- Install low-flow showerheads
- Replace air conditioning filters
- Unplug electronics when not in use, including cell phone chargers, DVD players and televisions