Energy Impact Illinois partners with local banks and credit unions to provide low-interest loans to help reduce the upfront costs associated with energy efficiency improvements. Loans can be used for whole house improvements, boiler or furnace upgrades, and Energy Star appliance and equipment if combined with a boiler or furnace project. Whole house improvements must result in energy savings of 15% or more as determined by a certified energy auditor. Terms, rates, and loan amounts vary with each lender, and lenders vary by region.
'''State Green Building Standards'''
Illinois requires that all new state-funded construction or major renovations are required to seek LEED, Green Globes, or equivalent certification. The ''Green Buildings Act'' (July 2009) defines major renovations as projects with a budget of at least 40% of a building's replacement cost and makes the following requirements based on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system:
The 2007 Illinois Power Agency Act (IPAA) requires both electric and natural gas utilities establish annual energy-savings goals and reduce energy delivered and peak demand. Utilities are required to file an energy efficiency and demand-response plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) every three years, beginning in 2007.
Illinois's 1997 electric-industry restructuring legislation created separate public benefits funds that support renewable energy and residential energy efficiency. The efficiency fund is known as the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund. Electric utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers contribute annually a pro-rata share of a total amount of $3 million, based on the number of kilowatt-hours sold during the previous year. The funding mechanism was established for 10 years in January 1998 and was renewed until December 12, 2015 in August 2007.
The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering grants for public housing authorities PHAs) and their residents for the implementation of energy efficiency measures. Applicants must be serviced by Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, or North Shore Gas. Targeted PHAs include residential households at or below 30% of Average Median Income (AMI), 50% AMI, or 80% AMI. Funding is limited to $350,000 per applicant and grant costs cannot exceed 100% of the total project costs.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) provides grants through the Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Construction Program. Under this program, grants are provided to Illinois based non-profit and for-profit housing developers to include energy efficient building practices in the rehab or new construction of affordable housing units. This grant helps offset the incremental cost of going from typical construction to energy-efficient construction. Applications are available on the program web site above.
The Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Program encourages companies to remain, expand, or locate in Illinois. The program provides tax credits to qualifying companies equal to the amount of state income taxes withheld from salaries for newly created jobs. A company must make a capital investment of $5 million and create a minimum of 25 jobs to be eligible. A company must also demonstrate that it had considered locating out-of-state.
Corn Belt Energy Corporation (CBEC), in association with the Wabash Valley Power Association, provides its customers with the "Power Moves" energy efficiency rebate program. Through this program, customers of Corn Belt Energy can receive rebates for geothermal, air-source, and dual fuel heat pumps, as well as electric and heat pump water heaters. To qualify for a rebate customers follow all program procedures and comply with all efficiency standards. Check CBEC's website for specific program guidelines and rebate terms.
Corn Belt Energy, through the Wabash Valley Power Association, offers business, school, and farm customers a variety of energy efficient rebates and incentives through its "Power Moves" program. Rebates are available in equipment areas such as:
In 2002, Cook County enacted an ordinance requiring all new county buildings and all retrofitted county buildings to be built to LEED standards. Specifically, all newly constructed buildings and all buildings scheduled for capital improvement must be built to the LEED Green Building Rating System Certification requirements, and all retrofit projects must meet LEED Certification for Existing Buildings. All buildings must set a goal of obtaining 8 or more points in the LEED Energy and Atmosphere category.