The City of Evanston is taking advantage of a “sweet deal” incentive from the State of Illinois to fund lighting improvements at the Sherman Plaza Parking Garage that will ultimately save the city more than $1 million in electricity costs over the 11-year life of the project.

Replacing the 900 metal halide fixtures which currently use 210 watts with induction canopy lighting that use 40 watts per fixture will annually save about $91,568 in electricity costs, which amounts to a savings of $1,007,248 over 11 years, according to city engineers.

And the full cost of the $451,665 project is expected to be covered by a rebate from the State of Illinois’ Department of Community and Economic Opportunity’s Public Sector Energy Efficiency Program, utilizing a “sweet deal” incentive designed to motivate city governments to complete projects before Feb. 14.

Work began Monday and is expected to take four weeks to complete.

The city was alerted to the funding opportunity by a minority-owned Illinois business, Electrical Resource Management, Inc., of Wheaton, which was awarded the contract without being formally bid, due to the time constraints.

The Wheaton firm has been working with several communities to complete similar lighting upgrade projects, according to city officials, who maintain that it is not the type of installation that is typically done by Evanston electrical firms.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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