Retrofit Chicago: Is energy efficiency plan worth the hype?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is known for letting hardly a week go by without the announcement of a major new initiative. One of the most prominent and more controversial plans has been his $1.7 billion Infrastructure Trust, a sweeping plan for financing public infrastructure improvements through private investment. Retrofit Chicago actually has three components: the municipal buildings program involving the Infrastructure Trust, a commercial buildings program and a residential program. While each piece of the trio was announced with some fanfare over the past four months, the program is largely an amalgam of previously existing initiatives and incentives which are being tied together and given new publicity and coordination. Retrofit Chicago’s residential component, announced Aug. 7, aims to accelerate overhauls of homes and multi-unit apartment buildings, which are on average 83 years old and account for half the city’s energy use. The program is slated to create about 200 jobs and help homeowners and apartment dwellers reduce their energy costs –  up to $10,000 in savings a year could be expected for apartment buildings, according to the city.

Midwest Energy News

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