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Making Chicago’s WTTW and WFMT More Energy Efficient

WTTW, Chicago’s premier public television station, and WFMT, the city’s classical and fine arts radio station, were interested in reducing energy use at their joint broadcast and production facility, the Renée Crown Public Media Center. They wanted to make improvements that would lower energy bills and promote a healthier environment. With help from Elevate Energy, ComEd’s Smart Ideas for Your Business®, and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, they were able to complete upgrades that are expected to save 659,319 kWh annually. That’s enough to power nearly 62 homes with electricity for a year!WTTW_Meidum

Elevate Energy provided technical services to help the WTTW staff identify the best energy-saving solutions for their space. Our buildings team conducted an energy assessment and recommended lighting upgrades in the office space, the television studio, and the exterior of the building.

The first phase of the project was to upgrade the office and outdoor lighting. This involved de-lamping some fixtures and installing energy efficient LED lighting along with motion sensors and other advanced lighting controls. This improvement is expected to cut lighting costs in the offices by 13 percent annually. In addition, the office lighting design addresses aesthetics, light color, and brightness levels in order to ensure a pleasant work environment.

In addition to providing guidance throughout the upgrade process, our team helped WTTW and WFMT obtain grants and incentives to help cover the costs of the improvements, including a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The improvements were also made possible thanks to an incentive of $58,100 provided by ComEd’s Smart Ideas for Your Business.

WTTW is planning additional energy-saving improvements including upgrades to the television studio lighting, and installation of renewable energy. Our team will continue to work with them throughout the process. Once the work is complete, audiences of programs such as Chicago Tonight and Check, Please! can expect to see the hosts illuminated by new, energy efficient studio lighting.

Elevate Energy and ComEd are committed to helping nonprofit organizations like WTTW and WFMT access the benefits of energy efficiency to improve their bottom line and free up resources that can be put toward fulfilling their mission. Our program for nonprofits connects organizations with the technical advice, information, and resources they need to improve their facilities.  We guide building owners and managers through the entire upgrade process and helps identify and apply for incentives such as those provided by ComEd.

To apply for the Elevate Energy nonprofit program, visit

Click here to access the full press release from WTTW.

To see a full case study, click here.


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