We’re constantly working to help building owners and managers access energy efficiency solutions that save money and preserve affordable housing stock. These buildings are often important assets to the families that own them and provide affordable places to live for low-income tenants. Our work to improve these buildings helps strengthen communities for generations to come.
We recently worked with Marcia Ellis, who has owned her six-unit property in Chicago’s New City neighborhood since 2018. Her history with the building goes back to 1984, when her parents bought the building. For decades her family lived in the building, including her parents, her siblings and their families, and her own children.
When the building ownership was transferred to Marcia from her father, she took on the responsibility to care for and maintain the property for its mixed-income tenant community.
“I had to learn how to strip walls, plaster walls, to sand, to paint,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but I was really encouraged.”
She began working with Community Investment Corporation to secure a loan for building improvements and was connected with Elevate Energy to receive a free energy assessment of the building. The assessment revealed opportunities for energy efficiency improvements in the building, including lighting retrofits, roof insulation, pipe insulation, and a new high-efficiency boiler.
The old boiler in the building was inefficient, very old, and unlikely to have survived another heating season. The addition of controls allows it to operate at maximum efficiency.
“When they put the boiler in, I could really tell the difference,” said Marcia. “Things were staying a little bit warmer, and I could actually see on my thermostat that the heat was maintaining a certain level. I haven’t had any complaints. My tenants have been really pleased.”
She received $44,697 in incentives from ComEd and Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, and the improvements are expected to save her an estimated $2,380 annually.
“It’s been a great experience. Just to be able to see the difference, to feel the difference in the building – that was amazing,” Marcia said. “The insulation and the boiler, it all seemed to work right together.”