Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the cornerstones of sustainability. By becoming more efficient with energy consumption through improved technology and practices, Evanston can meet its energy demand without sacrificing functionality in its pursuit of lowering the city’s environmental impact.

Current City Policies and Initiatives

Evanston Green Building Ordinance - Evanston adopted this ordinance December 2009, and it requires US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver certification for all new commercial and municipal construction over 10,000 square feet. Commercial and municipal renovations have a list of mandatory green features to select from.

2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) - adopted December 2009 Applies to all commercial and residential construction.

Nicor Gas' energySMART Program

As of June 1st, 2014 energySMART, Nicor Gas' newest program, began providing free home energy assessments resulting in a personalized report with outlined savings, free products like low-flow shower heads, programmable thermostats and CFLs as well as a thorough guide to the rebates that Nicor Gas offers. The energySMART program has specific programs for single family households, multifamily residences and small businesses. Find out more information on their webpage which can be found here.

Nonprofit and Congregation Energy Efficiency Program

The City of Evanston's Office of Sustainability and the Evanston Community Foundation have partnered with the IFF to promote the Energy Performance Program (E2P), an energy efficiency program designed for non-profit and faith-based organizations.

Residential Energy Savings Guide

This guide connects Evanston residents to local home energy experts, discounted compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), utility payment assistance, renewable energy system financing and much more.

Commercial Energy Saving Guide

This guide connects Evanston building owners and operators to local energy experts and technical assistance, energy efficiency and renewable energy system rebates and grants, tax credits and much more.

Evanston Porch Light Campaign - This campaign was launched in April 2010, and its goal is to encourage residents to switch their porch and outdoor lights to energy efficient lights.


  • Citizens’ Greener Evanston - Citizens’ Greener Evanston offers information on how to become more energy efficient and save money on your bills.
  • CEDA - Energy assistance and weatherization for low-income houses.
  • CUB Energy Saver - The Citizens’ Utility Board Energy Saver program helps customers save money on their electric bill.
  • Energy Star - Energy Star is the EPA’s program to promote energy efficient products and practices.
  • GBI - The Green Building Initiative is a non-profit organization whose goal is to speed up the adoption of energy efficient buildings.
  • IAER - The Illinois Association of Energy Raters is a state supported association of performance specialists trained in making your home more energy efficient.

Past City Policies and Initiatives

CUB Energy Saver - The City of Evanston has partnered with Citizens Utility Board to reduce the city’s overall energy usage. Through the website, participants can cut their electric bill by an average of $200 while also having the chance to win an entire year of free electricity.

Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program Challenge - Through March 31, 2013, the City of Evanston participated in the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program Challenge, an initiative to foster energy efficiency awareness and action within local communities. As part of the challenge, Nicor Gas awarded up to $25,000 toward an energy efficiency project in each participating community. This first Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program Challenge was between Evanston and Oak Park will expand to other communities in the future.

ComEd Community Energy Challenge - Between June 2009 and May 2010. Evanston was selected as one of 11 municipalities to participate in the ComEd Community Energy Challenge (CEC), a pilot program designed to help municipalities develop and implement energy efficiency projects that reduce electric and natural gas use in their towns.

Energy Impact Illinois - For a limited time, the U.S. Department of Energy and local utilities and non-profits are together offering a cost-saving program called Energy Impact Illinois to all Chicagoland homeowners to make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient. Under this program, home owners can save 70%, up to $1750, off the most cost effective and permanent energy efficiency improvements: air sealing and insulating your home. 

City of Evanston Residential Weatherization Grant Program - launched February 2010 and provides free weatherization services for income-qualified Evanston homes. This program has completed and is no longer accepting applicants.