At their Midwest Energy Solutions Conference held in Chicago on January 15th, the MEEA gave their 2014 Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award to Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle.
The award highlights President Preckwinkle’s initiatives to establish Cook County as a world-class model of sustainability. Her administration has worked to boost energy efficiency practices throughout County government. The County has partnered with local governments, not-for-profits and businesses to make communities sustainable. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the County was able to partner with 28 municipalities and 19 non-profits on more than 90 energy efficiency projects, with the potential for over $2.3 million in cost savings over the first five years.
President Preckwinkle also spoke about the successful implementation of Energy Savings Contracts, or ESCO’s, for both Stroger Hospital and the Department of Corrections, spearheaded by the Bureau of Economic Development. These investments amounted to $60 Million from energy savings, and no tax increases. These performance contracts are the largest ever undertaken by a County and demonstrate our serious commitment to energy efficiency. Due to the success of these two ESCOs, additional ESCO contracts are planned for 2014 that will focus on our courts, warehouses and corporate facilities.
Members of the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council were also at the ceremony, including Anne R. Pramaggiore, President and CEO, Commonwealth Edison, one of the two co- chairs of the Council. Deborah Stone, Cook County’s Chief Sustainability Officer also attended. The Bureau of Economic Development was represented by Herman Brewer, Bureau Chief and John Cooke, Director, Office of Planning and Policy.