Driving Energy Efficiency in Chicago Buildings

EDF Climate Corps has become a powerful force accelerating energy efficiency in commercial buildings. In two years, we’ve identified 21 million kWh in energy savings across 65 buildings in Chicago, equivalent to the annual energy use of 2,000 homes. Our success in Chicago is having ripple effects nationally, including deeper engagement with commercial real estate companies such as JLL, Tishman Speyer and Transwestern. EDF continues to work with commercial building owners in Chicago to demonstrate the economic value of energy efficiency, clean energy and demand response. The Combined Capacity Asset Performance project, launched by EDF and local partners, is demonstrating how commercial buildings can continue to earn money in the PJM capacity market.

Highlights From Past Projects

  • Jones Lang LaSalle

    JLL's 77 West Wacker Drive was one of the first buildings to join EDF's Building Energy Initiative. With the help of their EDF fellow, they identified an energy reduction goal of 5 million kilowatt hours by 2018; 2 million of which was uncovered during the 2014 fellowship. In addition, they are leading the way in demand response and piloting a tenant engagement project in the building.

  • Urban Innovations

    Urban Innovations controls 11 commercial properties in Chicago's River North neighborhood with more than 180 tenants. Their EDF fellow developed a tool to identify applicable rebates and calculate cost-savings from energy efficient upgrades. Through the use of this tool, they identified annual reductions of over 990,000 kilowatt hours of electricity use, $70,000 in annual cost-savings, $72,000 in rebates and 846 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.

  • Shedd Aquarium

    Chicago's renowned Shedd Aquarium collaborated with EDF Climate Corps to evaluate the feasibility of a museum campus microgrid. Their EDF fellow explored energy-efficiency opportunities to reduce the overall energy demand of the three institutions on the waterfront museum campus. If implemented, the proposed microgrid would ensure business continuity to all three institutions during a power outage.

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  • Glenstar Asset Management

    Glenstar Asset Management participated in EDF's Building Energy Initiative for two consecutive years. In 2014, their EDF fellow assessed traditional energy efficiency and demand response opportunities. In 2015, their second EDF fellow was challenged to find energy savings where the low-hanging fruit had already been picked. Each fellow successfully identified over 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity savings.  

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