Gail and George Bohling received a coveted "Silver Certificate" today from their Alderman Mary O'Connor because of improvements made to their home in Chicago's 41st Ward. The improvements will save them an estimated $483 annually on their utility bills and an estimated 24% reduction on gas energy usage; all while making the residence safer, more comfortable, and energy efficient. They also received a rebate for $1,750 to help pay for these improvements.
To receive the award, the couple first hired Green Dream Group, an energy audit company founded to help homeowners prioritize the most cost-effective improvements to their home. The energy audit included airtightness testing, infrared scanning, and computer modeling. Based on these findings, another Chicago-based company, Green Energy Improvement, did the work on the Bohlings' home.
Gail Bohling said: "We wanted improvements to our home that saved us money, reduced our energy consumption, and made our home more comfortable in the winter. By having this work done by Green Energy Improvement, we accomplished each of these goals – all while increasing the market value of our home. The Silver Certificate proves the effectiveness of what we did."
Alderman O'Connor said, "The 41st Ward is proud of the Bohlings. They are providing leadership in the area of environmental sustainability – leadership that others in our Ward will deeply respect. As the largest Ward in the city -- and a Ward that provides itself on a forward-looking attitude -- we're extremely pleased that a 41st Ward family has been awarded one of the first of these desirable Silver Certificates."
"The Bohlings deserve this award because they did things right!" said Grace Lunsford, owner of Green Dream Group. "The Bohlings made the right decision to hire a company that could pinpoint opportunities beforehand and verify the quality of the work afterward."
"The real strength of the Illinois Home Performance program is the requirement for meticulous testing before and after a job," said Kimberly Radostits, Vice-President of Green Energy Improvement. "As leaders in this area, we are delighted to be held to this high standard. Working with Green Dream Group helps us do this."
Green Dream Group's diagnostics have been used to verify high-quality work, and to point out when a contractor has missed the boat. "We've been training contractors to use these performance tests for several years through our Building Performance Workshop, so we're thrilled that the state now recognizes this accountability too," stated Lunsford. "And on January 1, when Illinois adopts a new building code that requires these tests for existing homes as well as new construction, things will improve even more."
Aside from the work of the individual companies, a number of organizations collaborated to provide the Bohlings with a $1,750 rebate. They include: Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Delta Institute, Energy Impact Illinois (EI2), Franklin Energy, and Peoples Gas.