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County expected to save $1 million in energy costs

Thursday, September 29, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by LISA DONOVAN

An estimated $1 million in energy savings may be realized in nine Cook County government buildings this year, thanks to simple acts such as shutting off lights, escalators and elevators on nights and weekends, Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Thursday.

The Cook County Circuit Courthouse in Markham won the energy saving “wars” while the Bridgeview courthouse came in second. The main county building at 118 N. Clark, where Preckwinkle has her offices, finished third.

While the county saved some money by contracting with the utility companies at lower rates, Preckwinkle said staffers countywide were asked to do their part.

“We’re making significant behavioral changes throughout the county,” Preckwinkle said. “We’ve asked our employees to use less lighting, to turn their computers and lights off at the end of the day and to be more mindful of how we use our electricity and how that affects our workplaces and our communities,” Preckwinkle told reporters.

All this “green” talk doesn’t mean Preckwinkle is going to trade the chauffeur-driven, county issued Chevy Suburban for something a little more gas efficient.

“No,” Preckwinkle said. “We use it as kind of like a minivan, whenever I go to meetings I have a person with me and sometimes two or three others.”

But certainly there are more gas-efficient vehicles.

“Right. But as I say, we use it as transport and not just for myself.”



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