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Commercial Building Leaders Help Chicago to Attain Energy Goals

January 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The city’s Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative aims to reduce commercial energy use in participating buildings by 20% over the next five years. Two major commercial building operators—JLL and Urban Innovations—have together reduced energy use by nearly 3 million kilowatt hours annually, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
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Demand Response 101

September 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Karan Gupta, EDF Climate Corps Fellow

Demand response has been called the “killer application for the smart grid” by John Wellinghoff, former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But what is it? In short, demand response is the ability of energy users to change their demand for power during periods of severe supply constraints and/or extreme spot market prices for electricity.
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Energy Benchmarking: What it Means for You

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Last October, the City of Chicago passed an energy benchmarking ordinance, requiring buildings of a certain size and function to track and report their energy use. It can be a confusing, and even controversial, topic. Five industry experts spoke at the Building Green Chicago conference in an effort to explain the ordinance, help building owners and managers discover what steps they need to take and, ultimately, how benchmarking can be a benefit to them and the city.
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Home Smart Home

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

homesmarthomeBy Matt Baker

Right now, on your desk or in your pocket, is a tremendous piece of technology. It gives you the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere and the whole sum of human knowledge is there for your perusing. Smartphones have greatly impacted how we interact with each other and our environment.

We are still discovering new ways that they can impact and better our lives, but where will the next front be in this human/digital dance? It very likely will be home intelligence systems. While early adopters may be drawn to features of comfort like media control, the true power of these systems are in energy management. One of the few sustainability products directed at the residential sector, these systems can help the average homeowner become an exceptional energy conserver.
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Reducing Energy Consumption, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Neighborhood2By Matt Baker

Chicago has put a number of programs into place to challenge residents to reduce their utility consumption. It started with the Green Office Challenge, pitting commercial office spaces against each other to lower energy, materials and water consumption. Retrofit Chicago is a similar program on a larger scale, with entire buildings in competition.

The latest program aims to go even bigger, with neighborhood competing against neighborhood. The Chicago Neighborhood Energy Challenge is a six-month pilot competition among multi-unit buildings in Humboldt Park and Logan Square that will encourage residents to reduce energy usage.
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