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A Year in Review: New Name, New Home, New Impact

YIR_OfficeThis year ushered in a new name, a new website, and a new home. In February, we changed our name from CNT Energy to Elevate Energy to better express our mission of smarter energy use for all. Throughout 2014, we worked to achieve this mission in everything that we do. We grew so much this year that we moved to a new home in Chicago’s vibrant West Loop neighborhood.

Now, at the end of the year, we’re taking a moment to share our 2014 accomplishments with our friends, funders, clients, colleagues, and partners, without whom these accomplishments would not be possible. We wish you a safe, happy, and energy efficient 2015!


Making Buildings More Energy Efficient

Elevate Energy’s full-service energy efficient buildings programs help building owners and managers make energy-saving improvements that dramatically reduce utility bills. As a part of our mission to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to those that need them most, we focus on improving affordable multifamily buildings and facilities operated by nonprofit organizations. During 2014, we worked with multifamily building owners to improve more than 3,000 affordable apartments in Illinois. We also expanded our services for nonprofit organizations and smaller multifamily buildings with two to four units.


Expanding to New Markets

We’re accelerating the growth of multifamily energy efficiency programs. In collaboration with New Ecology, Inc., we’re developing full-service programs, modeled after our own successful program. During 2014, we supported projects in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana, and Central and Southern Illinois.


Educating Communities about Energy

In January 2014, the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation awarded Elevate Energy a grant to help educate people about the smart grid and smart meters being installed in their communities. Our field organizers use a community-based approach to empower Illinois residents to harness the benefits of this new technology. The organizers meet with local community leaders, give presentations at community meetings, and organize house parties to promote efficiency.


Supporting Dynamic Electricity Pricing Through a Polar Vortex

We administer residential hourly pricing programs for both ComEd and Ameren Illinois, supporting more than 20,000 participating households. This was an unusual year in the regional electricity markets. Extreme weather drove up hourly electricity prices during the winter, making it difficult for customers to save money compared with the utilities’ fixed-price rates.

We helped participants manage these difficult market conditions with new tools and services including smart phone apps, a redesigned website for the Ameren Illinois program, and a pilot program that let participants to test out a thermostat that adjusts based on hourly market prices.


Working with the Public Sector

We work with public sector entities to facilitate energy efficiency actions that have an impact across communities. In 2014 we helped the City of Chicago implement the first phase of its citywide energy benchmarking ordinance. This year also saw a resurgence of communities interested in energy planning. We completed phase one of an Energy Program Plan for the City of Madison and were invited to lead implementation efforts in 2015 and 2016. We are also engaged in the development of Missouri’s statewide energy plan.


Promoting Smart Energy Policies

Our policy team worked on issues including proposed federal carbon pollution rules and regulations around access to consumer energy use data. In June, the EPA proposed a Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. The plan sets carbon reduction goals for each state, and we’re working with a variety of stakeholders to shape carbon emission policies in Illinois. We are advocating for energy efficiency as the primary strategy to meet carbon emission goals set by proposed federal rules.


Putting Data to Work

Elevate Energy produces high-impact applied research that informs energy efficiency program design and innovation, and helps drive investment in energy efficiency. This year, our research team focused on topics including dynamic electricity pricing, energy benchmarking in buildings, community wide sustainability strategies, and how energy efficiency is valued in the real estate market. Another area of study centered on identifying non-energy benefits of energy efficiency, including the financial benefits, health benefits, and improvements to the value and quality of homes and buildings beyond simple reductions in energy bills.

We look forward to building on all of these accomplishments and expanding our impact during the coming year. Thank you for your support!


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