Energy Efficiency

The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Illinois Energy Now is a portfolio of electric and natural gas efficiency programs administered by the State that includes incentives and services for public sector equipment upgrades, low income housing improvements, and for market transformation technical assistance and education programs.

Illinois Energy Now is now accepting applications for:

2015-2016 Public Sector Energy Efficiency Standard, Custom and Clean Water Incentive Program

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. No new Applications will be accepted after April 1, 2016. Final Certifications must be submitted by May 9, 2016. The Department can accept and review applications but will not able to award funding or issue Notices to Proceed until a State budget is finalized. (A Notice to Proceed means that the Department has approved the application and reserved funding for the project.)


2015-2016 Low Income Energy Efficiency Program Support
(Includes Residential Retrofit and Public Housing Authority)

Applications are due October 9, 2015. The Department can accept and review applications but will not be able to execute or modify grants until a State budget is finalized.

Please note, the Illinois Energy Now programs are subject to the State appropriation process, and while the Department can accept and review applications, it will not able to award funding, issue Notices to Proceed, or execute/modify grants until a State budget is finalized.

Updates regarding 2015-2016 funding will continue to be posted here, as they are available. In the meantime, we encourage you to sign up to receive the Illinois Energy Now monthly newsletter via email, by submitting your name and email address to:

Why Apply?
Eligible organizations can save money in short-term and long-term. 

  • Short-term savings: Potential reimbursement for up to 75 percent of energy improvement costs
  • Long-term savings : Reduced cost of future utility bills 

Who Qualifies?
All Illinois public facilities located within Ameren Illinois and ComEd electrical service areas or Ameren Illinois, Nicor, North Shore or Peoples natural gas areas are eligible to take advantage of Illinois Energy Now. Examples of public facilities include: 

  • Local governments including municipalities, townships, and county facilities.
  • Special units of local governments including library and park districts, public safety, water reclamation districts, and airport authorities.
  • Public schools including K-12, community colleges and public universities.
  • State and federal agencies including corrections facilities and military bases. 
Illinois Energy Now funding is for Public Sector and Low Income entities only and is separate from funding provided through similar programs with utility companies for businesses, 501c3s and private schools. If you are not a public sector or low income organization, please check with your utility provider to see what energy efficiency programs may be available for you.
What types of projects are eligible? 
Potential upgrades to electric and natural gas systems include but are not limited to: 
  • Lighting Equipment
  • HVAC Equipment
  • Gas Equipment
  • Variable Speed Drives
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Waste Water Treatment Aeration Systems 
How do I apply? 
  • Step 1: Download program guidelines and application forms
  • Step 2: Complete application and submit to
  • Step 3: Illinois Energy Now reviews application, gives notice to proceed and confirms rebate amount
  • Step 4: Upgrade qualifying electric and gas equipment
  • Step 5: Submit a final certification with work completed and costs
  • Step 6: Illinois Energy Now reviews final certification and processes rebate 
Where can I find more information on specific programs related to Illinois Energy Now programs for public facilities? 
  1. Standard, Custom, and Clean Water Incentive Programs
  2. New Construction Program
  3. Retro-commissioning Program
  4. Energy Efficiency Aggregation Program
  5. Natural Gas Boiler System Efficiency Program
  6. Combined Heat and Power Pilot Program
  7. Trade Ally Program 
Where can I find more information on other Illinois Energy Now services? 
  1. Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial and Residential Buildings
  2. Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®
  3. Smart Energy Design Assistance - DCEO partners with the University of Illinois School of Architecture in order to provide technical assistance services to businesses, federal, state and local government, public schools, community colleges, public universities and colleges to assist clients who are considering energy efficiency improvements at existing facilities or to enhance baseline design of new facilities.
  4. Energy Performance Contracting Program - an innovative arrangement for designing, installing and financing energy improvement projects where the savings achieved by the project are guaranteed to amortize the cost of the project over the term of the agreement.
  5. Lights for Learning Program - A BRIGHT IDEA! - The Lights for Learning fundraiser is a great way to raise money for your school or organization by having students sell energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Light (CFLs) bulbs. CFLs can last up to 10 times as long as an incandescent bulb while using 75% less energy. Schools or organizations earn a 50% profit and a free educational assembly or classroom presentation about energy conservation.
  6. Savings Through Efficient Products (STEP) and free Green Nozzles Program 

Where can I find more information on Low Income Energy Efficiency programs related to Illinois Energy Now? 

  1. Public Housing Authority: Efficient Living - provides grants to Illinois Public Housing Authorities to upgrade and/or include energy efficient building practices in their buildings. 
  2. Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Construction Program - provides grants to Illinois based non-profit and for-profit housing developers to include energy efficient building practices in the rehab or new construction of affordable housing units. Average energy savings range from 50% to 75%. 
  3. Residential Retrofit Energy Efficiency Program - The Residential Retrofit Energy Efficiency Program funds entities that administer low income weatherization programs or other low income home improvement programs to support implementation of energy efficient measures in existing low income housing.  Application Currently Open.  Applications are due October 9, 2015. The Department can accept and review applications but will not be able to execute or modify grants until a State budget is finalized.
What if I don’t qualify for Illinois Energy Now but I’m interested in a similar incentive? 
Residential, commercial, industrial and non-profit organizations are eligible for energy efficiency incentives from their participating utility provider: 

Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) members are eligible for the   

Where can I find more information on the background of Illinois energy incentives? 

The “Green Nozzle” is a high efficient pre-rinse spray valve that will save 545 therms of natural gas annually due to a reduction in hot water usage. This program is designed to save members of the Public Sector *$400 annually on natural gas bills. Green Nozzles are provided for free if you are a public school, local, state or federal government, community college or public university. 
Please click here to watch how the Green Nozzle works: