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Improving Bronzeville Housing for Seniors through Energy Efficiency

Exterior of multifamily building with large trees in front

The Willa Rawls Manor Apartments provide affordable housing to seniors in Bronzeville. Owners of the apartments worked with Elevate Energy in 2018 for an initial energy assessment and completed upgrades to lighting in common areas of the property.

A change in ownership in 2019 led to new opportunities for the property. The new owners learned about the rebates available to multifamily properties through their contractor, Gleason & Elfering Heating & Air Conditioning. Upon connecting with Elevate Energy, the new owners decided to invest in capital improvements at the property.

In 2019, the hot water heater at the property was replaced and upgrades were completed on the heating and cooling systems at the property. Elevate Energy’s team provided expertise and guidance throughout the process.

“You guys sent out an engineer to make sure that the equipment was right and that I would be getting the efficiency and equipment that I needed and wanted – I had no way of doing that,” said Renee Johns, property manager at Willa Rawls. “I felt like with your expertise I got exactly what I needed.”

These capital improvements will improve the longevity of the building while increasing comfort and lowering utility bills for tenants.

“I felt like I had somebody looking after my best interests. Because of you guys, I feel confident that I have what I need at the building.” Renee Johns, Property Owner and Manager


  • $12,853 estimated annual savings

Building Overview

  • Building owner: Willa Rawls Investors, LLC
  • Building type: Low-income senior housing
  • Neighborhood: Bronzeville

Upgrades Completed

  • Interior LED lighting
  • Domestic hot water heater replacement
  • Central HVAC upgrades


  • $134,838 in incentives from ComEd and Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Programs

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