Friday, June 17, 2011

Energy Efficiency Revitalizes Job Market for Contractors
Energy efficiency work is helping to revitalize the job market for contractors in the Chicago region. The Energy Savers program, which is operated by CNT Energy and the Community Investment Corporation (CIC), has created more than 75 jobs over the past three years and is expected to generate an additional 165 jobs over the next two years. A larger, regional energy efficiency initiative could produce as many as 2,000 new jobs for workers in the Chicago region over the next three years.

Energy Savers focuses on reducing energy use in affordable multifamily buildings in the Chicago region. This reduces operating costs for building owners and helps to maintain affordable housing. With help from the Energy Savers program, building owners are finding that energy efficiency is a smart investment, even during an economic downturn.

The Energy Savers program has helped local building owners make energy efficiency improvements in more than 3,500 housing units, cutting energy costs by 30 percent on average. This saves the average building owner $10,000 per year. In the process, the program has created jobs for the contractors who implement the Energy Savers team’s energy efficiency recommendations. The program has created work for energy auditors, insulation specialists, heating contractors and others.
The Energy Savers team from CNT Energy evaluates each building and helps owners identify the most cost effective energy efficiency improvements. CIC offers low-cost financing options to cover the cost of the work. This approach makes it possible for building owners to invest in building upgrades that will pay off in lower electricity and gas bills....
Energy efficiency could continue to spur growth in the job market as the region moves forward with the Chicago Region Initiative for Better Buildings (CRIBB), a federally funded regional collaboration led by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Environment, and with support from the City of Rockford and suburban and regional stakeholders. A team led by CNT Energy is coordinating the program on behalf of CMAP. CRIBB will focus on promoting energy efficiency improvements by ensuring that homeowners, building owners and businesses have access the necessary information, financing options, and trained workforce. This program is also expected to contribute to job creation in the region, generating an estimated 2,000 jobs over the next three years.

Center for Neighborhood Technology
March 16, 2011

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