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Projects Updates for Topic: Urbana

  1. Last Month for Bulk Solar Pricing

    Associated Project(s): 
    September is Final Month to Use Bulk Pricing for Solar

    Solar Urbana-Champaign 4.0 is scheduled to end new contract signings for solar installations on September 30 at 5pm.  That means you have just 3 weeks to schedule a site assessment with New Prairie Construction, receive a proposal, and sign a contract for your shiny new solar array. 

    Email 12 months of electric bills to with the subject line "last minute solar proposal."

    If you've already received a proposal, then all you need to do is say YES to your very own renewable energy power plant.  And keep in mind that 2019 is the last year for the 30% federal tax credit.  It's 26% next year.

    Join the 200 other friends and neighbors in the Urbana-Champaign area that are enjoying a home or business running on sunshine courtesy of Solar Urbana-Champaign.

    Second Bulk Discount Achieved

    All Solar UC participants receive compounding 1% discounts off the purchase price of their solar installation as the program reaches 50 kilowatts, 150 kilowatts, and 250 kilowatts of contracted capacity.  The 2019 round of Solar UC currently stands at 151 kilowatts of contracted capacity!  So a 2% discount on all installations!




  2. Urbana receives an energy award

    Urbana Awarded for Business Energy Efficiency

    Contact: Scott R. Tess
    706 S. Glover Ave.
    Urbana, IL 61802
    Tel. (217) 384-2381
    Email:         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—April 28, 2014

    Ameren Illinois has honored the City of Urbana and its businesses with Ameren’s 2013 Most Progressive City award.
    The annual award is given to cities demonstrating extraordinary accomplishments in energy efficiency.  Forty-five Urbana Businesses participated in Ameren Illinois’ energy efficiency rebate program, ActOnEnergy, in the 2013-2014 program period.  These businesses completed 94 energy saving projects totaling 2,253,926 kWh of electricity and 148 therms of natural gas. 
    By participating in ActOnEnergy, Urbana businesses received $99,872 in incentives and will save $157,920 in annual energy costs.
    The City of Urbana’s Climate Action Plan has been guiding a number of energy saving activities including Tax Increment Financing incentives for energy efficiency upgrades to buildings as well as training and technical assistance through the Urbana-Champaign ENERGY STAR Challenge.
    As part of the award, Urbana received four street signs to place at entrances to the city identifying Urbana as Ameren Illinois’ 2013 Most Progressive City.
    For more information, please visit or contact Scott Tess at 217-384-2381 or


  3. Class study with City of Urbana

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Lisa BrooksSent: Monday, March 31, 2014 9:57 PMTo: Dempsey, John GarrettSubject: School Composting Project Jack Dempsey, My name is Lisa Brooks, and I am a student at UIUC. My class and I are collaborating with the Urbana Environmental Sustainability Division to establish a school composting program throughout Urbana schools. The goal of the program is to lower the amount of food waste in the school while producing rich organic top soil. We are currently in the development phase of the program, and we did some research on the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment. I was wondering if you would be interested in scheduling a time to discuss the details of the project and any suggestions or ideas you might have for how to make our program as effective as possible. If there is anyone else at the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment that could also provide insight into this project that would be greatly appreciated as well. Feel free to contact me at any time if you are interested in discussing this project. Thank you for your help, Lisa Brooks

  4. Urbana Sustainability Manager, Scott Tess, provides overview of program

    The Urbana Climate Action Plan’s Goal 1: Action 1 calls for creating “programs to encourage businesses to retrofit existing buildings.”  The U-C Kilowatt Crackdown will challenge businesses and property managers to benchmark their buildings’ 2013 energy performance on the free Energy Star Portfolio Manager and then track and improve their energy performance for 2014.  This program may be replicable the following year dependent on participation and future interest.

    Key Phrases

    • • Challenge yourself to cut costs and improve performance.
    • • Fun, easy, convenient, popular.
    • • Pledge today to cut costs and avoid waste.
    • • Leading businesses are joining the Kilowatt Crackdown
    • • Benchmark,  improve, awards

    Driving Participation

    • • Registration/Pledge may be conducted with an online webform and through a postcard mailed back to the City.  Participants could be listed on a website serving as a public commitment.
      • o Building name, address, contact name, phone, and email
    • • Opinion makers may be invited to offer a quote or appear in a video to establish participation as a social norm.
      • o Newscaster, football coach, leading business person
    • • Interns may be trained to provide Energy Star Portfolio Manager support for participants to increase program convenience and actively seek out participants.
    • • Awards for top performers may follow in early 2015.
      • o Certificate for all who submit SEP
      • o Buildings achieving 10 or 20% reduction in EUI
      • o Energy Star Certified
      • o Greatest Percentage EUI reduction
      • o City Bragging Rights Award for most new Energy Star Buildings per capita


    • • ES Div. staff time
    • • Planning Div. staff time
    • • Urbana $2,000 for advertising, printing, awards
    • • Champaign $2,000 for advertising, printing, awards
    • • CCRPC website and registration management
    • • Partner Service Providers’ staff time
      • o IGBA for small and large businesses
    • • Provide basic energy efficiency installations (CFLs, Faucet Aerators, LED Exit Signs, Pre-rinse spray valves) and help businesses attain more incentive dollars and installations through ActOnEnergy programs.
    • • Recruit ‘Energy Specialist’ interns to assist buildings with benchmarking
      • o SEDAC for large businesses
    • • Perform benchmarking for buildings and provide recommendations for improvements
    • • Consider amending qualifying square footage for participating buildings
    • • Recruit ‘Energy Specialist’ interns to assist buildings with benchmarking
      • o Ameren
    • • Business Energy Assessments and Incentives
    • • Funding
    • • Branding
      • o DCEO
    • • Andrea Rice
    • • Promotional Partners
      • o Chamber
      • o UBA
      • o City of Urbana
      • o City of Champaign
      • o News media
      • o EDC


    • • Handbills, advertisements, awards
    • • 25 commercial buildings benchmarked
    • • 15 commercial buildings reduce energy consumption
    • • UPTV video, Smile Politely ad, News-Gazette ad, Facebook promotion
    • • Promotional speaking opportunities with Chamber, UBA, Developer’s Luncheon, CCNet, Green Drinks
    • • 5 earned media in print, web, radio, tv
    • • SEPs and awards


    • • 15 buildings reduce GHG by an average of 20%


    • • July 2013 Determine Ameren role
    • • July 2013 Firm up partner roles, process, and website plan
    • • Aug. 2013 Agree partner roles and process
    • • Sept. 2013 Finish website and printed piece
    • • Sept. 2013 Work with Marketing meeting to promote
    • • Oct. 2013 Invites to Benchmark
    • • Oct. 2013 Invites to lunch and learn
    • • Nov. 2013 Lunch and learn with recorded ESPM 101
    • • Dec. 2013 Lunch and learn with recorded ESPM 201
    • • 2014 Check-ins
    • • Jul. 2014  Data check in
    • • Dec. 2014 Share media advisory templates
    • • Jan. 2015 Invites to share SEPs
    • • Feb. 2015 Invites to awards
    • • Mar. 2015 Awards
    • • Apr. 2015 Follow up with participants on interest