The Illinois EPA Office of Energy strives to achieve energy equity by investing in projects that focus on energy efficiency and new clean energy technologies to reduce the energy burden for Illinois consumers.
The Office of Energy depends on funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) State Energy Program. We are committed to partnering with in-state, public institutions and have created strong partnerships with the University of Illinois’ Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). One hundred percent of the external funding obligated by the Office of Energy for FY2018 has been dedicated to state university partners. Illinois’ public universities are national leaders in energy research and have the expertise, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in energy conservation. The Office of Energy is investing in Illinois’s public universities to carry out dynamic energy programming.
Three Office of Energy programs highlight how our partnerships are working to promote energy equity.
Energy Efficiency at the Water/Energy Nexus.
Together with SEDAC and ISTC, the Office of Energy is providing energy usage efficiency assessments to publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) throughout Illinois. These assessments identify energy efficiency opportunities for energy, cost, and emission savings, while also striving to improve water quality. Since March 2018, the Office of Energy:
- issued 12 energy efficiency assessment reports to Illinois municipalities;
- collected information for the production of five additional reports;
- recruited an additional 15 municipal systems to receive energy efficiency assessments; and
- is preparing a grant opportunity for municipal systems to implement recommendations from the assessments.
The Illinois EPA Bureau of Water contributes technical and outreach support to this program. For example, the Office of Energy capitalized on the close, established relationship that the Marion Regional Office has with Southern Illinois wastewater operators to increase interest in assessment opportunities at our October 2018 energy efficiency workshop at Southern Illinois University.
Support for Local Governments & Building Trades
The Office of Energy and SEDAC have established an energy code training and technical support programcapitalizing on State of Illinois institutional expertise and directed at Illinois code officials and construction industry professionals. The Illinois Energy Conservation Code sets a standard for all commercial and residential buildings. It protects the environment by reducing energy consumption, reducing air pollution, and stabilizing energy costs for buildings. The Office of Energy’s Energy Code and Technical Support program is focused on expanding energy code training to all parts of Illinois—rural and urban, regardless of income base. In 2018, the Energy Code Training and Tech Support program reached more than 5,000 Illinois construction industry professionals with workshops in places like Vandalia and Rock Island in addition to web-based programming available 24 hours a day.
Investment in New, Clean Energy Technologies
The Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund makes direct investments in high-potential, early-stage, Illinois-based cleantech companies in order to support innovative entrepreneurship and to create jobs in the cleantech sector in Illinois. Created in 2016 with financial support from U.S. DOE, the Fund is administered by the Clean Energy Trust
(CET) in collaboration with the Office of Energy. As an Illinois nonprofit, CET is an important and worthy exception to the Office of Energy’s public partners. The Illinois EPA re-asserted the State’s role in administration of the Fund and works closely with CET to evolve and align the Fund with the clean energy economy in Illinois and the Midwest.
The Fund’s investment in Galesburg, Illinois’s Intellihot is illustrative. Intellihot has revolutionized the hot water industry with tankless water heaters manufactured by local employees, some of whom lost their jobs when a major appliance manufacturer closed its Galesburg plant. An investment from the Fund helped Intellihot grow from a high-potential, early-stage, cleantech company to a highly successful one providing good energy efficiency employment opportunities in Illinois.
Thank you to our Partners