Built in 1928 Chicago Apartment Building Energy Retrofit Achieves EPA Energy Star Certification

To say the 55-unit building in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood was in disarray when it was changing hands in 2009 would be an understatement.

Source: www.chicagotribune.com

>” […] the building is among the first in the Midwest — and only three in Chicago — to achieve the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Energy Star certification for multifamily buildings. Also receiving the designation were two condominium buildings in Chicago, 680 N. Lake Shore Drive and River City, at 800 S. Wells.

[…] Jeffery Parkway also stands as an example of how an older, smaller, affordable apartment building can be made more comfortable for its tenants while saving its owner cash in the long run.

Seeking a neutral third party to help them figure out the entire scope of a rehab project, the Soods obtained a free energy audit of the building and its systems from Elevate Energy, a Chicago-based nonprofit that works with consumers and businesses to improve energy efficiency.

Elevate looks at historical analyses of a building’s energy use and compares it with similar buildings in terms of age and size. Then it performs an on-site performance assessment of the existing heating, cooling and lighting systems and makes recommendations for potential improvements. […]

“The average cost of a retrofit is about $2,500 to $3,000 a unit,” Ludwig said. “We’re not talking about huge-ticket items. A lot of times we are trying to identify the most cost-effective retrofit measures, how can we tighten the building envelope. It doesn’t have to mean a new boiler is going in the basement.”

However, in the case of Jeffery Parkway, it did mean a new steam boiler and new water heaters, among other upgrades.

The project was financially feasible because of a loan from nonprofit Community Investment Corp.’s Energy Savers loan program, which offers a seven-year loan with a 3 percent fixed interest rate for qualified upgrades made to buildings in the seven-county Chicago area and Rockford. […]

“We will cover any of the recommendations that show up in the energy assessment, and we’ll also do other energy-related improvements,” said Jim Wheaton, manager of the Energy Savers program. “This is not a program designed for the North Lake Shore Drive high-rise. It’s designed for buildings affordable for working folks.”

Multifamily buildings receive an Energy Star score of 1 to 100, and those that score above 75 can apply for the certification. Nautilus’ building received a score of 99.

“The savings are tremendous,” Sandeep Sood said. “We were facing, just on the gas bill, a $60,000 bill a year. As of last year, our bill was $18,000. It was an unbelievable savings.” […]”<

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

New flash mob law to get tough on social media users

See on Scoop.itTwitter & Social Media

According to a Huffington Post report and other media sources, on Friday, Illinois got a step closer to getting tough on persons who place posts on the Internet

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The lawmakers passed the measure to hopefully stop violent occurrences in which persons have gathered, run the streets and stopped traffic, robbed, and terrorized people. The flash mobs of note in Chicago have occurred along Michigan Avenue – the Magnificent Mile which is known for its high-end shops and stores. Other areas frequented by tourists have been targeted by the flash mob activists as well.<

See on www.examiner.com

ComEd’s “Smart Switches” Reducing Service Interruptions; “Self-healing” technology key to improving reliability – Electric Light & Power

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Distribution Automation (Smart Switches) routes power around potential problem areas, often with no noticeable interruption in service.  Installation of these devices resulted in 82,000 fewer customer power interruptions in 2012. During the severe storms that hit the Chicago area in mid-April, DA devices prevented 20,000 service interruptions.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

By remotely monitoring and controlling grid operations, Distribution Automation (DA) devices, or smart switches, are a central feature of smart grid technology and ComEd’s effort to reduce the frequency and duration of outages.

[…] if a tree were to fall on a utility pole resulting in an interruption, far fewer customers would be impacted because it enables us to better isolate the damaged section,” explained McMahan. “DA introduces a self-healing capability to the electric grid by allowing us to resolve issues before customers might even be aware of them, and that has a profoundly positive impact on people’s daily lives.”

When fully implemented, distribution automation and smart meters will communicate with ComEd’s operations center, alerting the utility of an outage and eliminating the need for customers to call to report they are out of power.  […]  To see how smart meters and DA devices work together, click this link http://youtu.be/L4xp7a1di7Y .

Under the smart grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to strengthen and modernize the electric grid in northern Illinois. More than $1.3 billion is earmarked to deploy a Smart Grid system and install smart meters in four million homes and businesses to give customers greater control over their energy consumption and costs.  The current schedule calls for ComEd to begin installing smart meters in 2015. […]

See on www.elp.com