May 2019
Newsletter

Watch Video About SEDAC 

Discover how SEDAC is working to decrease the energy footprint of the state of Illinois in our brand new  About SEDAC Video, created by the University of Illinois Department of Landscape Architecture. 

Founded in 2004, SEDAC is a public-private partnership between the Department of Landscape Architecture and 360 Energy Group, a private consulting firm in Chicago.  SEDAC provides design assistance to help businesses and communities save energy and money. We also conduct cutting edge research, provide education on energy efficiency, and train students to become leaders in the clean energy industry. 

Learn more about SEDAC.
 
While we typically focus our energy code training on requirements for new construction, many energy code permit applications are for renovations or additions to existing buildings. 

Test your knowledge of the energy code requirements for renovations or additions to existing buildings by attending our webinar " 2018 IECC for Existing Buildings."

When:  May 22, 2019 at 12 pm 
Register  here

Note: The anticipated adoption date for the new Illinois Energy Efficiency Code (based on the 2018 IECC, with Illinois amendments) has been moved to July 1, 2019Visit our website sedac.org/energy-code for more updates.  SEDAC also provides answers to energy code questions at 800.214.7954 or  energycode@sedac.org .

Funding for this program has been provided in whole or in part by the Illinois EPA Office of Energy.
 
Are you ready to take the next step in long-term energy planning?  Many municipalities, agencies, and businesses are moving beyond 5-year energy planning to create  Climate Action Plans --comprehensive roadmaps that outline specific activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or reach net zero emissions by a future date. 

SEDAC staff have extensive experience working with universities, state agencies, and parks to develop climate action plans. These plans help agencies prioritize strategies to reach future emission reduction targets, demonstrating their commitment to a more sustainable future. The graph below, from the Allerton Park Climate Action Plan, shows how different solutions (represented by wedges) will help the Park reach net zero emissions by 2035. 

SEDAC has also been teaching climate action planning to students at the University of Illinois. Students enrolled in SEDAC's "Landscape of Energy Efficiency" course this spring developed climate action plans for their final project. 

Students started by developing an inventory of the emissions of a section of campus. They selected sectors to analyze (residential and commercial energy use, transportation, water, waste, and more) and estimated the emissions from each sector.

Next, they projected emissions into the future, and proposed solutions to reduce emissions and achieve net carbon neutrality within 30-50 years. Their solutions included a wide variety of strategies, such as ways to improve building energy efficiency, alternative forms of transportation, renewable energy, and carbon offsets from wetlands and forests. 

Is your agency interested in creating a Climate Action Plan? Contact SEDAC 800.214.7954 or info@sedac.org to find out how SEDAC can help. 
 
At SEDAC, we help customers prioritize energy savings recommendations to maximize return on investment. In our energy assessment reports, we frequently recommend pursuing energy efficiency improvements before pursuing renewables, such as rooftop solar. 

SEDAC certainly advocates for renewable energy; however, building energy efficiency investments (mechanical, electrical, or controls improvements) often have important advantages over solar: better return on investment, more cost effective emissions reductions, improved building comfort, and reduced strain on the energy distribution infrastructure. 

A recent study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)  compared the cost effectiveness of achieving an equivalent level of energy savings through energy efficiency upgrades versus rooftop solar generation. They found that bringing new construction from 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) standards to 2015 IECC standards through energy efficiency upgrades was on average much more cost effective than bringing new construction to 2015 IECC standards by generating energy from rooftop solar (using the Energy Rating Index compliance path).  For a model house in St. Louis, the cost of installing rooftop solar panels was more than double the cost of energy efficiency upgrades for an equivalent level of energy bill savings. 

The study also found that owners of new buildings with PV solar were less inclined to implement energy efficiency measures. For these buildings, rooftop solar was implemented instead of energy efficiency measures. 

The study did not consider variables such as federal tax credits, utility or state incentives, or different forms of financing. Taking these factors into account can change the financial comparison, but the study still provides strong evidence to support our recommendation that energy efficiency should come first. 

Contact SEDAC at 800.214.7954 or info@sedac.org to discuss your energy savings goals. We provide quick advice, energy assessments, and in-depth cost analysis to help you prioritize energy saving opportunities. 

sedac.org / 800.214.7954 / info@sedac.org
Providing effective energy efficiency strategies for buildings and communities