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Environment/Sustainability Mon Jan 27 2014

Preckwinkle Recognized for Sustainability Efforts

Toni Preckwinkle has been recognized with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's (MEEA) Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award for her work in improving energy efficiency in Cook County and thus saving county taxpayers millions of dollars.

"Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County have raised the bar for other counties and municipalities across the nation," said MEEA Executive Director Doug Newman, in a press release.

Over the past several years, the Preckwinkle administration has helped create a vision for sustainability by implementing projects and creating the County's first Sustainability Advisory Council.

Through the Guaranteed Energy Performance Contracting (GEPC) project, the largest of its kind, the Administration will make energy upgrades to county hospitals and the jail, which in turn reduces energy emissions by 20 percent, creates 600 construction and technology jobs, and secures $237,000 in Illinois energy rebate revenues in 2013, with more than $1 million projected in 2014, according to Deborah Stone, chief sustainability officer for Cook County.

The County was able to undertake this project at no cost to taxpayers, by securing low-cost financing through the second largest use of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds in the State of Illinois, said Stone.

In 2013, the County was selected as a nominee for the Chicago Innovation Awards for its sustainability efforts.

"I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability," said Toni Preckwinkle.

MEEA presented the award to Preckwinkle at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference last week.


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