Evanston’s new electric supplier will provide an energy-saving air conditioning solution to one city-owned building.

As reported last week, the city has agreed on a new one-year electric power aggregation contract that will see customer rates rise more than 8 percent.

But Verde Energy USA, the winning low bidder, has sweetened the deal a bit with an agreement to install at a city building a device designed make ice at night, when energy costs are lower, to reduce air conditioning costs on hot summer days.

A promotional video from the manufacturer of the device, ICE Energy.

During the day the Ice Bear device uses the melting ice to bathe the air conditioner’s compressor with cool air so the air conditioning unit uses less energy at a peak demand time to cool the building.

The melted water is then recycled through the system and the process begins again the following night. The result is lower energy costs and increased grid reliability.

Thomas FitzGerald, president and CEO of Verde Energy USA, said the agreement with Evanston would let the company help demonstrate the efficiency of the Ice Bear system. 

Under the terms of the agreement with Verde, residents will receive a 100 percent renewable fixed rate of $0.05192/kWh for service from this August through July 2014. Residential and small commercial retail customers will have the right to “opt-out” of the aggregation program without penalty or a cancellation fee.

“We recognize that energy prices have been moving up significantly over the last several months. The selection of Verde, the lowest price bidder, will provide savings to our ratepayers, compared to other available options, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. I hope they install it …

    I hope they install it at the Robert Crown Center, since the ice rink is air conditioned more than any other city facility.  Also, the skylights in the lobby increase cooling needs in the summer.

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