Residents hear tips on reducing energy costs
by BRIAN NADIG
Tips on reducing energy costs and bylaw changes were discussed at the June 27 meeting of the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association.
Elevate Energy field organizer Foluke Akanni said that residents who work away from home during the day – when electricity demand is usually at its highest — should consider signing up for ComEd’s hourly pricing program. Elevate Energy is a nonprofit organization which promotes more efficient energy use and lower energy costs for consumers.
Most homeowners are on a fixed-rate plan, but those on an hourly pricing plan save on an average of 15 percent on their electricity costs, according to the organization.
The hourly rates are based on real-time, market prices and can vary hour to hour each day, Akanni said. While the highest rates for electrical use tend to occur between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., the hourly rates in the past four weeks were below the fixed rate at all times during the past four weeks, she said.
In addition, Elevate Energy estimates that home owners can save as much as $400 a year in energy costs by making installation and other improvements to their house. In some instances homes can become "Energy Star" certified, and this status can increase the value of a home when it is being sold, Akanni said.
Appointments for home assessments, which cost $99, can be made by calling Elevate Energy at 844-922-1222.
Also at the meeting, association president Joe DiCiaula announced planned bylaw changes. He said that some of the changes are intended to expand the purpose statement which will be part of the association’s application for nonprofit 501c3 status.
One of the changes calls for the association to work with elected officials and residents to ensure that zoning changes do not have an adverse effect of the character of the neighborhood.
The association has called for the height of the planned seven-story housing development and five-story warehouse at 5150 N. Northwest Highway to be limited to four stories. It was reported that about $6,000 was raised at a recent fsund-raiser to pay for legal fees associated with a lawsuit challenging site’s rezoning.
In other news, the association plans to hold an election for four officers and three directors in November, and those eligible to serve of the association’s board must be a paid member as of the June meeting.
It also was reported that about 40 people attended the association’s pub crawl on June 15, and that the association’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Rosedale Park fieldhouse, 6312 W. Rosedale Ave. A consultant on the Jefferson Park master plan project, which includes a portion of Gladstone Park, will be the guest speaker at the meeting.
The association’s new Web site can be accessed at www.gpnachicago.org, which includes a section for paying the $21 membership fee.