Friday, January 30, 2015

Contact: Tiffany Clotfelter, 312-251-9931,

January 30, 2015

Illinois Public Housing Authority’s Efficient Living Program Recognized for Saving 34 Million Gallons of Water for Residents with Low Incomes

URBANA, ILL. – The Illinois Public Housing Authority Efficient Living Program (ILPHA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture has been awarded the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) 2015 Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award.

Since the inception of the program in 2010, more than $11 million has been awarded to 52 of 99 public housing authorities (PHAs) in Illinois. This has helped PHAs install 97,510 energy cost reduction measures, which has resulted in saving almost 34 million gallons of water and more than 60 billion BTUs of energy.

ILPHA is dedicated to helping PHAs throughout the state achieve electric and natural gas savings in their properties. Since most PHA buildings were constructed more than 30 years ago, this program helps retrofit and update these buildings to increase energy performance and indoor comfort.

“The Efficient Living Program is one of the few public sector programs in the nation to leverage utility funds for energy efficiency upgrades in public housing properties,” said Kate Brown, Housing Research Specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This is an excellent example of an effective public-private partnership.”

Funded in part by the Illinois Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards – which includes the six investment owned utility companies of Ameren Electric and Gas, ComEd, Nicor, North Shore, and Peoples Gas – this initiative is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Energy Now program.

ILPHA provides on-site assessments of energy use, energy modeling, building benchmarking, monetary incentives for reducing energy costs, resident education workshops and technical assistance on energy management.

“We have seen housing authorities throughout the nation experience a 42 percent increase in utility spending since 2000,” said Stacey Paradis, MEEA interim executive director. “MEEA is proud to recognize the University of Illinois and its ILPHA Efficient Living Program for its public-private partnership approach to increasing energy efficiency in Illinois’ PHAs.”

Bestowed annually at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (, MEEA’s Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award is presented to an organization that has made a significant contribution to market transformation either through the implementation of a specific program or through a policy change.

About the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference:
The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency. Now in its 13th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment across the Midwest increases.
The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region’s source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA’s membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area.

About the University of Illinois:
The University of Illinois is a land grant institution with a long history of conducting research that is grounded in real world challenges and situations, and is widely recognized as a credible, unbiased source of information. The School of Architecture at Urbana-Champaign campus’ mission is to help improve the quality of housing and the built environment in the United States, through research, public service, education and publications. The Energy Resource Center at the Chicago campus provides comprehensive and cutting edge solutions for energy and environmental challenges in the institutional, industrial and commercial sector. Together, the University’s work helps to create a cleaner and more sustainable state and nation.