A Lesson in Efficiency

One hundred forty-one Illinois elementary and high schools in 24 counties will have brighter classrooms, cut their energy use and save money as a result of US$3.5 million in grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Chicago, Illinois – August 15, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] These energy efficiency grants are the first distributed by the Foundation through its school lighting upgrade initiative and constitute one of the largest contributions from a private source to Illinois K-12 schools this year. Combined, these 141 projects will reduce electricity demand by more than 6,000 kW when completed by the summer of 2003. As a result, the Illinois schools upgrading their lighting through these grants will together save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on utility bills. “Schools gain in three ways from investing in energy efficient lighting: They improve lighting quality in the classroom for students and teachers. They reduce operating and maintenance expenses in the annual school budget. And they save energy, leading to less pollution in communities,” said Peter P. Peters, Chair of Illinois Clean Energy. In a statewide poll commissioned by Illinois Clean Energy last summer, 75 percent of respondents felt that it was extremely or very important for schools and local governments to make existing and new buildings energy efficient. Eighty-four percent favored energy efficient designs for all government-funded projects. Illinois Clean Energy, an independent nonprofit foundation, received its US$225 million endowment from Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). “It’s exciting for ComEd to help bring these energy saving projects to life,” said Frank Clark, president of ComEd. “And it’s gratifying to know that schools and students across the state are the ones who will reap the benefits.”

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