NEW CONSTRUCTION INCENTIVES: PUBLIC SECTOR

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Illinois Energy Now is an energy efficiency program, administered by the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), providing millions of dollars in incentives to public facilities implementing energy efficiency measures to reduce electric and/or natural gas consumption.  

The Illinois Energy Now Public Sector Energy Efficiency New Construction Program (Illinois Energy Now New Construction Program) offers financial incentives to facilitate implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency improvements for new building construction or major building renovation projects, for public sector entities located within Ameren Illinois and ComEd electrical service areas and Ameren Illinois, Nicor Gas, North Shore and Peoples natural gas service areas.

NOTE: Energy efficiency incentives for the private sector are available to customers of ComEd (electric) through the Smart Ideas program, Ameren Illinois (gas and electric) through the Act On Energy program, or through Nicor Gas through the energySMART program, North Shore Gas, or Peoples Gas energy efficiency programs.

The Illinois Energy Now New Construction Program provides incentives to public sector entities constructing energy efficient new buildings and major renovations.  Incentives available to the public sector are based on exceedance of the minimum requirements of the Illinois Energy Conservation Code (IL ECC), aka “beyond-code” measures.  The program offers two means of calculating New Construction Incentives: Prescriptive and Custom.

Prescriptive New Construction Incentives are available for specific strategies on a prescribed measure-by-measure basis.

Custom New Construction Incentives are available, up to $0.08/kWh saved and $2.00/therm saved, for beyond-code facility design improvements.  Please note:  Energy modeling and/or supporting calculations must document estimated energy savings of the measures to be implemented for incentives under this program.

SEDAC (on behalf of DCEO) reviews new construction projects for incentive eligibility and program compliance.

Eligibility

The Illinois Energy Now New Construction Program targets public sector customers located within Ameren Illinois and ComEd electric utility service territories; and Ameren Illinois, Nicor Gas, and North Shore and Peoples natural gas utility service territories. Eligible public entities include units of local government, public school districts, community colleges, public universities, and state/ federal buildings located within the State of Illinois. Projects must be new construction or major renovation. For renovations to be eligible, they must affect at least two or more of these three systems: building envelope, HVAC systems, or lighting systems.  Eligibility is limited to new building construction projects, building additions, and/or major building renovations with change of occupancy >15,000 gsf; or major building renovations without change of occupancy exceeding 50,000 gsf.  Designs must demonstrate beyond-code electric and/or natural gas savings through efficiency improvements.

For more eligibility information, refer to the Illinois Energy Now - Public Sector New Construction Program Application, Guidelines and Worksheets 2014-2015.

Process

On behalf of DCEO, SEDAC reviews New Construction projects for incentive eligibility and program compliance. The first step is to contact the SEDAC New Construction team to discuss your project: see contact information below. The best next steps depend on where you are in the design process.

Project Planning and Concept Phase: We are ready to help! Contact the SEDAC New Construction Design Assistance team as early in the design process as possible if you have questions regarding eligibility, how to apply, or specific energy efficiency design strategies or technologies. The team can offer analysis and technical assistance that can enable you to achieve higher performance and reduce operating costs for the owner and/or tenant.

Construction Documents Completed: Once project contract documents (drawings and specifications) are 100% complete (including all addenda, add-alternate acceptance, etc.), the owner or representative should complete and submit the pre-approval application for the Illinois Energy Now New Construction Program, along with the documents required for review. The required documentation always includes the 100% construction drawings and specifications, as well as proof of utility delivery companies; and may include manufacturers specifications sheets (aka cut sheets), and/or energy modeling input/output reports verifying the designed beyond-code energy savings for custom incentives. The applicant must provide program staff with requested information necessary to verify potential savings.

Incentives

Incentives are based on exceedance of the minimum requirements of the Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial Buildings (IL ECC), aka “beyond-code.”

Two methods of calculating New Construction incentives are available: Prescriptive and Custom. The client may choose either method to calculate incentives.

The Prescriptive New Construction Incentives are based on specific measures, prescribed to exceed a prescribed code baseline. The building as a whole must still meet the overall minimal energy code requirements.

The Custom New Construction Incentives are based on how far beyond the Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial Buildings (IL ECC) that the whole building or the building components will be constructed. The Base Incentive rate for the Custom New Construction Program is $0.08 per kWh saved and $2.00 per therm saved for beyond-code facility design improvements.

Applicants, with an approved whole building energy model, seeking Custom New Construction Incentives, may qualify for an additional High Performance Design Bonus.  The bonus rate is based on the percentage of energy cost savings achieved in the proposed building design as compared with a minimally code-compliant baseline building energy model. This is to encourage applicants to design the building to achieve the greatest level of energy efficiency. The High Performance Design Bonus cannot exceed $100,000.

DCEO reserves the right to negotiate different incentive levels if the applicant is under rules that already require beyond code achievement.

Maximum Incentives: DCEO may provide up to, but not more than, a maximum incentive of $2.50/sf, with a total incentive cap of $300,000. A single award may exceed $300,000 if the application includes multiple project locations. 

 

Codes

All new buildings built in the State of Illinois are required to meet the minimum standards of the current Illinois Energy Conservation Code (IL ECC). All incentives are based on exceedance of the minimum requirements of this code. The current version of the code references the following model code or standards to meet compliance:

While the IL ECC sets the required minimum energy efficiency standard for new buildings, major renovations, and new building systems: SEDAC recommends the use of additional standards and references to achieve higher (beyond-code) energy efficiency goals.  Recommended references and standards include:

Applying

Application and Guidelines

What Is Needed To Apply

  • Completed Application pages App-4 through App-7.
  • 100% Construction Documents (with addenda, and approved alternates) including:
    • Architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing drawings
    • Project Manual and/or Specifications (all volumes)
  • For Prescriptive New Construction Incentives only:
    • Completed Prescriptive Incentive Worksheets in Appendix A (Tables 2 through 10, on pages A-1 through A-12, as applicable).
    • Completed Prescriptive Incentives Summary (Table 11, page A-13)
  • For Custom New Construction Incentives only:
    • Building energy model reports, including all inputs and outputs:
      • Baseline building energy model should follow ASHRAE Appendix G.
      • Proposed building energy model must match construction documents except as noted in ASHRAE Appendix G.
    • Completed Custom Incentive Worksheets, Appendix B (Tables 12, 13, and 14 on page B-1).
    • If LEED, provide EA Credit 1, Optimize Energy Performance template or equivalent.
  • Copy of utility bills or application for utilities.

Final applications require additional documentation.

 

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