Cook County—the home of U.S. Green Technology—has been cooking up a plan to make this popular county greener than ever before. The county’s leaders are investing in sustainability in a major way by implementing a creative approach to managing energy and financing. One of the best things about the county’s “green” approach? It doesn’t involve taking a bite out of local taxpayers’ wallets.
In the biggest single-phase project the county has ever taken on, facility upgrades totaling $60 million will be made to the department of corrections building as well as the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Campus. This will happen without increasing taxes or depleting capital funds. The purpose of the project, which is part of the Cook County Guaranteed Energy Performance Contracting initiative—or GEPC initiative—is to help the county’s facilities to perform more efficiently and thus ensure that they remain sustainable in the decades ahead.
A whopping 66 percent of greenhouse gases in the county can be attributed to the buildings’ energy use—particularly that of the hospital facilities and jail. Through the GEPC initiative, Cook County residents can expect to witness over 20 percent savings in the facilities’ energy use as well as a 20 percent drop in emissions.
This initiative will result in $60 million in Cook County’s operating budget, which will help to cover the cost of the green improvements over a period of 20 years. U.S. Green Technology’s hometown of Chicago is stepping up its efforts to go green so that future Windy City generations can enjoy the earth just as much as current Chicagoans do.