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This Small Multifamily Building is Saving Money

EnergySavers_SuccessStory_2520After suffering through a winter of cold drafts and high gas bills, Josh Miller decided to make improvements to his two-unit greystone in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. He contacted Elevate Energy, who sent an expert energy analyst and an independent contractor to inspect the heating distribution system, find air leaks in the building envelope, and determine which energy improvements qualified for financial incentives. Josh also got to take advantage of free energy saving light bulbs and water savings measures installed during the assessment.

Shortly after the assessment Josh received bids for air sealing, insulation, and a complete heating and air conditioning upgrade. After Elevate Energy’s construction team reviewed quotes from the contractor, Josh decided to move forward with all of the recommended improvements, which are expected to cut his energy bills by 15 percent to 19 percent and make his building more comfortable.

This project is an example of an intensive retrofit, which is more costly and provides more savings than a typical project. Typical project costs for air sealing and insulation improvements with no heating/cooling system upgrade range between $3,000 and $5,000 for two to four unit properties and provide annual savings of 10 percent to 15 percent.


  • 15% to 19% projected annual electricity and natural gas savings (700 therms)
  • $900 projected annual cost savings

Building Overview

  • Building owner: Josh Miller
  • Building type: 2-unit greystone with a flat roof
  • Year of construction: 1900
  • Heating and cooling: individual gas furnace, central air conditioning
  • Water heating: standard tank gas water heater

Upgrades Completed

  • Air sealing and insulation in roof cavity
  • General air sealing and weather stripping
  • High-efficiency heating/cooling system in top floor unit including new correctly sized and insulated ductwork and programmable thermostat
  • Incandescent lighting replaced with CFL bulbs


  • Total cost of energy efficiency measures: $15,785
  • Total grants and incentives: $4,900
  • Cost after incentives: $10,885 (discount of 31%)

Availability of incentives, grants, loans, and rebates varies depending on timing and project specifics. At no cost, Elevate Energy staff does all the leg- and paper-work to put together the best financial package for building owners.

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