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Chicago Region Retrofits Have Begun
The Chicago Region Initiative for Better Buildings (CRIBB) has completed sub-awards leading to the first retrofits in this consortium's effort to transform the market for carrying out energy-efficient retrofits to commercial and residential buildings in northeastern Illinois. CRIBB is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program.
CRIBB is centered on addressing the three key barriers to creating a robust marketplace for energy efficiency improvements in our region's buildings: access to information, access to finance, and access to skilled workforce. This regional collaboration is led by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Environment, with support from the City of Rockford and suburban and regional stakeholders. Among other projects supported by the $25 million EECBG grant, CRIBB has created a fund to complement housing preservation initiatives across the region by reducing energy costs in rental buildings classified as "multi-family" (more than four residential units).
The new Multi-Family Loan Loss Reserve Fund, called Energy Savers, gives building owners and managers a turn-key solution to retrofit multifamily buildings. The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) and CNT Energy, a division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology were selected to manage this aspect of CRIBB followinga call for competitive proposals from potential lenders and project administrators in December 2010. The CRIBB Energy Savers project will provide all of the necessary components to support a retrofit, including energy assessment, financing, contractor oversight, and performance monitoring. In administering $1.5 million from the EECBG grant, the CIC will leverage an additional $4.5 million in private investment to be made available through the Multi-Family Loan Loss Reserve Fund.
"This CRIBB project builds on the successful Cook County Energy Savers program and expands its reach throughout the seven-county northeastern Illinois region," said CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn. "That includes recruiting and enrolling owners of buildings to be retrofitted through the loan program, and overseeing all retrofit activity, including contractor selection and management. CRIBB is directing these federal and local funds to the properties that can derive maximum benefit from energy-saving retrofits."
CNT Energy also has a separate role in the CRIBB Energy Savers project, which provides technical assistance to building owners and conducts retrofit work that includes identifying a pipeline of buildings, performing energy audits, deploying retrofit contractors and providing construction oversight of the retrofit work.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.cntenergy.org/buildings/energysavers/.