SPRINGFIELD –State-owned facilities across Illinois are upgrading their building lighting thanks to a program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy & Recycling, in partnership with Illinois Central Management Services (CMS) and Grainger Industrial Supply. The facilities have received $6.4 million in lighting upgrades through the Free Lights Program, and it is estimated to save taxpayers $16 million over the life of the initiative. In addition, the modernization of these facilities will result in nearly 13 million kWh of electricity saved.
“Programs like Free Lights show that with a little creativity and collaboration, state agencies can work together to quickly reduce the cost of government for taxpayers and increase efficiency,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “These energy cost savings are dollars that can be reinvested back into Illinois communities to help grow our economy and create a better quality of life for Illinoisans.”
Agencies participating in this initiative include: CMS, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway Authority, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, and Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. Facilities are located throughout the state ensuring a geographic distribution that provides benefits across Illinois.
“CMS operates with the mission of serving as responsible stewards of the state’s limited capital and resources,” said CMS Acting Director Michael Hoffman. “Certainly, the Free Lights program is a testament to the collaboration of the Rauner administration, through DCEO and other Illinois state agencies, aimed at delivering real dollars-and-cents results for taxpayers.”
Preliminary estimates show that the projects will save taxpayers approximately $16 million in reduced energy bills over the life of the products. In addition, Illinois will be able to defer the maintenance costs of not needing to pay for new lights. These projects were completed by leveraging ratepayer dollars from the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) Fund.
Due to the success of the program, Commonwealth Edison, which will be administering a portion of the EEPS funds starting June 1, will continue to offer the program to Illinois facilities in their utility territory through the end of the calendar year.