Go Green Wilmette’s green tea event on Saturday, Dec. 1 was well attended.
Everyone was looking for ways to make their homes more comfortable and save money on energy used to heat and cool their homes. And everyone was shocked to learn that all of their efforts to seal their homes by replacing windows only accounts for 10 percent of heat and cool air loss.
Then we also learned about a program funded by the utility companies and a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy called Energy Impact Illinois that can benefit all of us, and you, too. It was clear that it would be very helpful to save five hundred dollars a year on the cost of energy.
For a limited time, Energy Impact Illinois in partnership with ComEd, Nicor Gas and other natural gas utilities are together offering a cost-saving program through local non-profits called Energy Impact Illinois to all Chicagoland homeowners to make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient. Under this program, homeowners can save 70 percent, up to $1,750, off the most cost-effective and permanent energy efficiency improvements: air sealing and insulating your home.
The program includes an assessment, which is a $400 to $800 value available to you for $49 to $99 or free if you have a home party with five to 10 homeowners attending.
The assessment takes two to three hours, and you need to be home when this is being done. You are not obliged to do work recommended as a result of the assessment but if you do the work you can receive an instant rebate of 70 percent (up to $1750) for proceeding with the insulating and air sealing recommendations for your home.
An average cost is $2,000 to $4,000, so, with the rebate the cost is $600 $1,200, which has a payback in about one to two-and-a-half years. The work generally takes one or two days.
Energy Impact Illinois is even providing access to low-interest loans on amounts over $1,000 through partnerships with several local banks and credit unions, which can be used for boilers, furnaces, windows or other energy efficiency improvements. The first year's interest is paid by the program and free to you. Interest thereafter is capped at eight percent.
One of the best parts of the program is that Energy Impact Illinois provides approved contractors and a friendly call-center staff, who will take you through the process from your phone-in application to the completion of the work to your satisfaction. They want you to be satisfied.
Those who attended the green tea were so convinced of the many benefits of the program that everyone signed up for an assessment and many signed up to have house parties.
You can apply for the program or get more information by emailing Mary Edsey at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling her at 773-404-9402 or visiting http://www.energyimpactillinois.org. Though the utility company rebates will likely continue, the additional grant funding expires mid-May, so act soon to take advantage of the highest rebates this great program offers to help you and the planet.