December 2012

Mayor Emanuel Jumpstarts the Electric Vehicle Industry


Last week, Mayor Emanuel joined city, state and federal leaders to make a number of important announcements with respect to electric vehicles and batteries: a $15 million incentive program to encourage the adoption of electric trucks; Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. opening an electric-vehicle factory in Chicago; a new procurement program that will encourage city contractors to purchase electric vehicles; and a dramatic expansion of the city's commitment to building an energy-efficient fleet. The week was capped off with the announcement of a historic partnership and a $120 million investment in Argonne National Laboratory that will turn Chicago into a world-renowned battery hub.


These five initiatives fit into one broad strategy that addresses every aspect of electronic vehicles, from their conception and design to their construction to, ultimately, their presence on our streets. In line with Goals #11 and 12 of the Mayor's roadmap, Sustainable Chicago 2015, this strategy will lead to Chicago becoming the electric-vehicle epicenter for Illinois, the Midwest and beyond.


Chicago's 31st Harbor named world's greenest 

  31st Harbor

The Chicago Park District won the International Superyacht Society (ISS) Fabien Cousteau Blue Award for Chicago's 31st St. Harbor, the world's most energy efficient and green marina. "The 31st St. Harbor is a forward-thinking, world class facility that was built with sustainability in mind," said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. 


Notable achievements of the project include: 

  • 3/4-acre green space, including a 63,300-square foot accessible green roof.
  • A geothermal heating system helps achieve a 33% energy use reduction.
  • Native plantings and enhanced habit for fish

Read more and view a video about the 31st Harbor by clicking [here].

CTA launches Bus Rapid Transit service, the "Jeffery Jump"


The Jeffery Jump is a new CTA bus service designed to provide a faster, more convenient travel experience. The Jeffery Jump will test elements of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which is being studied for other streets in Chicago. The CTA is working in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation to deliver the service improvements, which include:

Jeffery Jump
  • Dedicated Bus Lanes: Jump corridors will be striped and signed for dedicated bus lanes.
  • Fewer Stops: Average �-mile Jump station spacing will increase travel speeds. 
  • Transit Signal Priority: Traffic signals will be upgraded to test an early or extended green light, so the bus can get through the intersection more quickly.
  • Queue Jumps: Bypass lanes will allow a Jump bus to advance through an intersection with a unique traffic signal to move buses ahead of general traffic. 

Read more about the Jeffery Jump and BRT by clicking [here].




CDOT Needs Your Help to Locate Bike Share Stations


Launching in 2013, bike share will be a new way to get around

Chicago. It is an affordable, self-service personal transit system that allows bikes to be picked up from one location and ridden to any other location in the system. Commuters, residents, and tourists don't need to own a bike to make bicycling a part of their trip!


Help make Chicago the most bike friendly city in the country, Goal
  #8 of Sustainable Chicago 2015Please help CDOT choose the best locations for bike share stations.Visit today to suggest locations.

Bonus Rebates From Peoples Gas


Peoples Gas, a Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership partner, is

offering eligible customers special bonus rebates when they upgrade to qualifying, energy-saving equipment. Equipment includes furnaces, boilers, boiler reset controls, and water heaters. Complete a project and submit your completed application by December 31, 2012 to be eligible for a 50-100% bonus over standard rebates. Call 855-9-IMPACT or go to the Retrofit Chicago website to learn more about this and other programs.

Mayor Emanuel Plan Will Help Retrofit One- to Four-Unit Buildings 


New energy grants approved by City Council will support the retrofitting of single-family homes and small, multi-unit buildings.
Developed as a recommendation of the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team, the grants will help pay for air sealing, roof insulation, and new heating equipment for properties located in eligible Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts across the City. 


"Reduced energy costs are good for homeowners, for the economy and for the environment," Mayor Emanuel said. "The more efficient our buildings become, the more we all stand to benefit."


The grants will be provided through the Department of Housing and Economic Development's Tax Increment Financing-Neighborhood Improvement Program (TIF-NIP), which helps income-qualified owners repair one- to four-unit properties that are located in
25 eligible TIF districts citywide.


For more information about the TIF-NIP program, call (312) 744-5799 or click [here].

There is Still Time to get Money Back on your Sustainable Backyard Purchases!

Now is the time to send in your receipts and rebate forms to get up  to 50% back on purchases of trees (up to $100 rebate), native plants (up to $60 rebate), compost bins (up to $50 rebate), and rain barrels (up to $40 rebate). The Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program will return in 2013, but send in your receipts now so you can take advantage of rebates again next year! Submit your recepits by Dec 31, 2012 to receive your 2012 rebate. Rebate forms, educational resources, and program info are available at Contact or 773.321.2674 with questions.



12/4- IGO 10th Anniversary Gala

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Chicago Cultural Center

77 E. Randolph


Join IGO as they celebrate the first decade of Chicago's only local, non-profit carshare, at the 10th Anniversary Gala!


Event highlights include:

  • Food, drinks, prizes, and entertainment
  • Participation by civic leaders, including Governor Pat Quinn (invited)
  • Presentation of IGO's new Leadership Awards recognizing those who have helped make carsharing such a success
  • A look at the future of carsharing and sustainable transportation

Help us continue making it possible to live well without owning a car. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit

12/15- Southeast Environmental Task Force Holiday Open House 
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
SETF Office 
13300 S Baltimore Ave Chicago IL, 60633


Southeast Environmental Task Force Holiday Open House
SETF logo
 and Potluck -- Open to members and all supporters. Come mingle and meet SETF's Board of Directors. Contact | 773-646-0436

Mayor Emanuel Jumpstarts Electric Vehicle Industry
World's Greenest Harbor
CTA launches Jeffery Jump
Create Chicago's Bike Share Program
Retrofit Chicago Double Rebates
Mayor Emanuel Announces New Energy Grants
Act Now on SusBY Rebates
IGO 10th Anniversary Gala



Take action in your community by volunteering. Learn more at


Volunteer Workday at North Park Village Nature Center

12/5, 9am - 12pm

all Bob for more information: 312.744.5472


Dunning Read Conservation Area Workday

12/8, 9am - 12pm

4200 N. Oak Park Ave.

Register to volunteer by emailing


Jarvis Bird Sanctuary Volunteer Restoration Day


12/15, 9am - 12pm

Addison East of Lakeshore Dr

For more information contact 773-327-5053


Powderhorn Prairie Restoration

12/16, 9am - 12pm

13800 S. Brainard

For information contact Alice Brandon (312) 356-9990


Working Bikes Collaborative Volunteer Mechanic Class

12/18, 5pm

2434 S. Western Ave

Come along and learn about bicycle maintenance! Every Tuesday evening at 2434 S. Western Ave.



Sign up for a free seminar and learn about green building, design, landscaping, and more at Green Tech U, a program of


Chicago Center for Green Technology. Novices and professionals alike are welcome.


12/6 Energy Efficiency for Nonprofit Organizations 

6pm - 8pm, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.


12/8 Enlightened Spaces in Commercial Places10am - 12pm, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.


12/8 Building Community People Spots & Bike Corrals, 1pm - 3pm, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd. 



For full course listings, descriptions and registration information, visit the Chicago Center for Green Technology's website.




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