RFPs requested for $15 million residential decarbonization and retrofit program

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

A request for proposals (RFP) has been released for providers to administer Chicago’s residential decarbonization and retrofit program for one-to-four-unit residential buildings. The program will provide low- and moderate-income homeowners with home upgrades including new insulation and heat pump heating and cooling systems. Retrofits may also include induction stoves, heat pump water heaters, heat pump clothes dryers, air sealing around doors and windows, smart thermostats, and other energy-saving measures.

Goals of the program include:

  • reducing Chicago’s overall emissions;
  • providing immediate benefits to low- and moderate-income Chicagoans including improved indoor air quality, increased cost savings, and lower utility bills;
  • creating increased demand for local contractors with the skills and experience to install cutting-edge, energy-efficient equipment while enhancing pathways for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) workers and business owners to meaningfully participate in the clean energy economy.

“This $15 million dollar investment is just the beginning of our commitment to implementing a just energy transition for residents and workers, particularly those hit first and worst by climate change,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “The residential decarbonization and retrofit program will catalyze our efforts to provide critical solutions for residents on the frontlines of the climate crisis as we take a leadership role citywide in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Providers—third parties with experience weatherizing and/or electrifying homes in cold climates—will serve as the primary coordinating entity for the work, carrying out tasks like performing energy assessments, coordinating with homeowners, and managing contractors. Providers will also be expected to measure and report on the program’s impact on energy usage and utility bills.

“The work of the Chicago Department of Housing is to develop and promote quality, affordable, safe, and healthy homes across all 77 communities. This includes helping homeowners with lower incomes reduce their energy bills, increase their resilience to extreme weather, and improve air quality in their homes,” said Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara.

Anyone responding to the request for proposals or seeking more information on proposal requirements and an upcoming bidders conference should visit Chicago.gov/residentialdecarbonization.

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