Josh Milberg, First Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago discusses the energy efficiency retrofit initiatives that Mayor Daley and the city of Chicago have recently taken.
Amber Ayik: All right, we’re here today at the U.S. Conference of Mayors with Josh Milberg, the First Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago. Josh, please speak to us about your energy efficiency retrofit initiatives that you’ve taken with Mayor Daley and the city of Chicago.
Josh Milberg: Sure. In 2008, Mayor Daley launched the Chicago Climate Action Plan which is based in science, identified the major greenhouse gas emission sources in the city the Chicago, and buildings actually make up seventy percent of our greenhouse gas emissions in our city. So buildings are our key focus to the Climate Action Plan. As part of this plan partners were brought on to help the city develop a retrofit strategy along with key business and nonprofit partners. So we now have a retrofit steering committee that is responsible for looking at how do we think about energy efficient retrofits across the entire city in more of a portfolio perspective, really focused not only low-income, single-family, and multi-family but also businesses and other residential users.
Amber Ayik: And how did you fund these projects? Was this all through public funding or a mix of public and private?
Josh Milberg: It’s a mix of public and private. In the city of Illinois, we have energy efficiency portfolio standards whereby each of our utilities are responsible for putting a certain percentage of their revenues into reducing usage of their energy usage or reducing usage by their consumers.
Amber Ayik: As we’d discussed before, you actually came on as a consultant originally to the city. How is that you guys originally came to work with the city of Chicago?
Josh Milberg: We work with the city of Chicago through the City Consulting Alliance which is a nonprofit organization that really focuses on bringing together strategy consulting firms to help city organizations solve strategic problems. So we were originally partnered in that way.
Amber Ayik: And today what is the reduction in terms of, let’s talk electricity. So from a KWH standpoint, do you have any numbers that associate to the reduction in KWH with the city of Chicago through these initiatives?
Josh Milberg: I don’t have direct information right now. We are about to commence our next portfolio inventory of reduction. But we do know that we have retrofit 15,000 homes in the city of Chicago as well as 303 commercial and industrial buildings. So we are significantly eclipsing our current goals. We are on track to get to our 400,000 units and 2,000 commercial and industrial buildings by 2020.
Amber Ayik: And what to date has been the actual cost for these initiatives?
Josh Milberg: It’s difficult to share. It’s difficult to quantify exactly what the cost are because we are leveraging both public and private dollars as well as the dollars of the building owners because there is an economic provision to doing this type of work. There are real savings associated with it. And so we look for opportunities to make the business case more successful.
Amber Ayik: Okay, great. Thank you so much for your time.
Josh Milberg: Of course.Chi