Stop Energy Vampires!

Remember the good old days when “off” meant off? These days, turning things off isn’t as easy. Modern appliances use electricity even when they’re turned off. This can add as much as $100 to your annual energy bill.

You can stop energy vampires dead in their tracks.

Use a power strip as a central turnoff point for all your appliances. Unplug your chargers when you’re not using them. And look for ENERGYSTAR products that use less power in standby mode.

Sustainability at Brookfield Zoo

The Chicago Zoological Society has always done a wonderful job at fulfilling its mission statement – “to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature” – since the doors of the Brookfield Zoo were opened in 1934. It has built an international reputation for its cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Many of us have been to the Brookfield Zoo countless times to view the incredible animals from antelopes to zebras, and have become better environmental stewards from observing animals and nature that we would otherwise never have seen. The Zoo continues to inspire conservation leadership today, but in a way that goes unnoticed amongst the jumping dolphins and roaring lions.

The Chicago Zoological Society is increasing its sustainability efforts in unique roof construction at Brookfield Zoo. Seven to eight spray-foam roofs have been installed over existing insulated roofs, keeping the trash from the existing roofs out of landfills and increasing the R-value and reflectiveness. According to, “An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value – the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.” By increasing the insulating effectiveness, the Zoo has lowered its energy costs. The next time you go to the Brookfield Zoo and have an ice cream cone at Nyani Ice Cream Parlor, take a look up – that roof was built to meet the new Illinois Energy Efficiency Code!


Change to CFL Bulbs and Start Saving Money Today

For some homeowners, cutting energy costs can be a real problem. Questions of where to start, and what options are available can quickly overwhelm even the savviest consumers. Luckily, there is one simple solution that doesn’t require thousands of dollars or handyman skills. Making the switch from regular to CFL light bulbs is not only easy, but results in immediate savings. Each of these bulbs can save you $6 a year, and last much longer than traditional bulbs. Don’t wait until your old bulbs burn out, start replacing the lights in your home today!


Illinois Non-Profits Offer Energy Efficiency Programs

With summer temperatures reaching record highs, it is more important than ever to manage your energy bills. Thanks to a strong commitment from Illinois Environmental Council affiliates, energy efficiency is more available to the Illinois public than ever before. The programs listed below provide incentives for both residential and commercial building owners, and can be utilized at any point throughout the year. Read the rest of this entry »

An Abundance Of Energy Efficiency Programs For Building Owners in Illinois


The State of Illinois has been recognized as national leader for implementing energy efficiency policies by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Because of Illinois’ energy policies, there is now a $150 million annual budget for state-wide energy efficiency initiatives for homes and commercial buildings. This is in addition to a one-time $25 million federal grant to an Illinois coalition know as Energy Impact Illinois whose purpose is to jumpstart energy efficiency upgrades in the Chicago seven county and Rockford areas, and help facilitate a long-term market.

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Programs to Help Illinois Nonprofit and Public Organizations Save Energy


The State of Illinois’ energy efficiency policies have resulted in over $150 million being available annually for programs and incentives to help Illinois building owners and operators reduce energy usage. Two Illinois organizations have programs that focus on helping public and nonprofit organizations assess and reduce energy usage, by identifying energy efficiency incentives and low cost financing options, as well as guidance in choosing qualified contractors.

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