November of 2015 HB&C and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) completed a finance “tune-up” for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The tune-up evaluated strategies to bolster the state’s portfolio of energy efficiency and renewable energy financing programs for Illinois State facilities.
One of the key tune-up recommendations suggested DCEO consider engaging the Illinois Finance Authority and Treasurer’s Office to develop state and local government finance offerings. Based on this recommendation, DCEO submitted an application to the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program Competitive Grant Program (SEP).
Fast forward to August 2016 where DCEO was selected for an SEP award of $239,444 for “Designing & Piloting a Finance Program for Energy Efficiency in Illinois State Facilities”. The strategy Illinois’ Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) proposes is to develop a sustainable finance program that will leverage private sector investment, and complement it with a tailored marketing and technical assistance approach.
This program will be designed with stakeholder input in the first year of the grant and tested and refined in a pilot phase in the second year. To accomplish these tasks, DCEO will partner with Harcourt Brown & Carey, and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Energy Resources Center.