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City wants to be an ‘energy star’

City officials say Evanston is partnering with the federal government’s Energy Star program to improve energy efficiency and fight global warming.

“We see this as a terrific opportunity for Evanston to be an even more ideal community in which to live and work” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “Evanston has been and will be in the forefront of adopting the best ecological practices and policies in government, services and infrastructure.”

Energy Star was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the Energy Star designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $19 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 29 million vehicles.

In partnership with Energy Star, The City of Evanston will:

  • Measure and track the energy performance of its organization’s facilities where possible by using tools such as those offered through Energy Star; 
  • Develop and implement a plan consistent with the Energy Star Energy Management Guidelines to achieve energy savings;
  • Help spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency to its staff and community;
  • Support the Energy Star Challenge, a national call-to-action to help improve the energy efficiency of America’s homes, commercial and industrial buildings by 10 percent or more;
  • Highlight its achievements with recognition offered through Energy Star.

The City of Evanston urges its citizens to take the Energy Star Pledge, a series of easy and sustainable behaviors measurable in energy and money savings, such as: 

  • Change light bulbs to those that have earned the Energy Star.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to save energy while asleep or away from home.
  • Enable power management settings on computers and monitors so they go into “sleep mode” when away or not in use.
  • Make their next purchase an qualified product, such as home electronics, office products, and/or appliances.
  • Make sure their homes are well sealed and insulated.

Evanston has shown a strong commitment to sustainability with its unanimous vote by its City Council in October 2006 to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, an initiative launched in 2005 that invites cities to ‘meet or beat’ the targets of the Kyoto Protocol.

In 2008, the City adopted the Evanston Climate Action Plan resulting in the organization of nine focus areas and more than 200 strategies to achieve a reduction of 13% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. In 2009, the City joined the ComEd Community Energy Challenge and adopted the USGBC LEED requirements for new constructions.

With the Energy Star Partnership, the City fulfills a new fundamental step on energy efficiency and appeals to Evanstonians to make the same commitment.

More information is available online.

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