energy efficiency

Case Study in Home Energy Efficiency

Case Study in Home Energy Efficiency

It's early October, and the annual holiday marketing onslaught is not too far away. "The more you spend, the more you save," is one of my favorite crazy slogans. Does that really work on people? If you've spent $500 on new sweaters to save $100, you've just, um, spent $400.

Unless... you put on one of those sweaters, and then crank down your thermostat to save money on your heating bill. Love it!

Town Hall Meeting on Moving Toward Clean Energy

Town Hall Meeting on Moving Toward Clean Energy

Wondering how to make your home and neighborhood more energy-efficient? Interested in getting solar and other clean energy projects off the ground, or in getting jobs in the industry?

You are invited to an informal town hall meeting about local and state clean energy initiatives and how they are translating into jobs in energy and sustainability. You will hear the latest from your elected officials and speakers from environmental groups advocating for clean energy. Afterwards, you'll have a chance to exchange ideas and opinions with the experts.

15 OPRF Congregations Join in Collaborative Sustainability Initiative

15 OPRF Congregations Join in Collaborative Sustainability Initiative

Area congregations have demonstrated that they can make significant contributions to community sustainability through their facilities and operations including installation of geothermal and solar systems, energy efficiency retrofits, native and edible gardens, and zero waste programs, as well as advocacy for sustainable policies.

Here comes the sun, at a discount!

Barrows 50percentSolar Chicago is a new, community-wide group solar discount program offered by the City of Chicago, the World Wildlife Fund and Vote Solar, a non-profit organization working to bring solar energy into the mainstream. This initiative is available to Oak Park and other Cook County residents.  Through this program the contractor will offer residential solar to the program's participants starting at $3.49 per-watt — more than a 25% discount off average market installation costs. Please join us for an informational workshop on the Solar Chicago Discount Solar Program on Thursday, August 21, 2014, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, to learn more about the program.   There will be opportunities learn more about how the program works and to ask questions.

This program is intended to help homeowners pool their buying power to secure significant discounts that make installing solar more affordable than ever. Solar Chicago simplifies the process of researching and choosing a solar provider, making it easy for you to save money and produce clean, renewable energy.  Oak Park and Chicago are part of the core program area that will receive a guaranteed base installed price of $3.49 /w.  Installations outside the core program area but within Cook County will receive a base installed price of $3.59 /w.

See the web site for more information.After vetting several solar companies, a community evaluation committee has selected the team of Juhl Renewable Energy Systems and Microgrid Solar as Solar Chicago's installation partner.

The program will only available through September 30, 2014. Now is a good time to explore solar power for your home!  You can register to receive a no cost / no obligation proposal through Solar Chicago. The contractor will schedule free site evaluation and provide you with a proposal specific to your home.

Please help spread the word about Solar Chicago to your co-workers, friends, family and neighbors.  Solar Chicago Information Session Flyer.

To learn more, visit:

Information excerpted from SolarChicago web site

Green Living: Caulk Your Way to A Lower Carbon Footprint

Insulating and caulking air leaks in your home isn't sexy, but aside from trading your car for a bike or train pass, it could be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. With savings in reduced utility bills, the payback can be realized within several years, and -- with currently available energy rebates -- even sooner. Elevate Energy, formerly CNT Energy, is a non-profit that has worked with Illinois residents since 2000 to create and promote programs to help make home energy retrofits even easier. Elevate Energy's mission is to promote smarter energy use ( Skyler Larrimore, local adviser for Elevate Energy, is hosting workshops at local libraries in June and July.  Click CONTINUE READING for schedule.

caulk-man-outdoors-window-590rr040610Home Energy Savings Workshops

Berwyn Public Library (2701 Harlem Avenue): Monday, June 16 7-8 p.m.

River Forest Public Library (735 Lathrop Ave): Monday, June 16 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Forest Park Public Library (7555 Jackson Blvd): Monday, June 23 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Elmwood Park Public Library (1 Conti Pkwy.): Thursday, July 10 6:30-7:30 p.m.

At these workshops, Larrimore will present information on local resources you can use to make your home more comfortable, keep gas and electric bills in check, and increase home value. She will also highlight how you can use Smart Grid and Smart Meter technology to reduce your energy bills still more.

Elevate Energy estimates that with an energy retrofit (including air sealing and insulating), a typical home can save 300 therms of natural gas and 770 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. As of April, Elevate Energy says that Oak Park and River Forest residents who have gone through their program have saved a combined 690,697 total pounds of carbon dioxide and an estimated total of $62,800 on annual utility costs.

Contact Skyler at or at 773-407-3784 to learn more.