Energy Program

The Energy Program is designed to improve building efficiency & reduce operating costs for Cook County Government Buildings.  The image below shows the Domestic Violence Courthouse Solar PV Array, one example of our work.  Some of our major initiatives include:   

Domestic Violence Courthouse Solar PV Array

  • Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs)

  • Countywide Demand Response Program

  • Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)   

  • Management & Tracking of Energy Efficiency Rebates and Grants 

  • Green Leadership Team- Chair Energy & Water Subcommittee 

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station Integration



Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs)

Cook County Conserves

Cook County has implemented a $44 million building improvement project through a guaranteed energy savings agreement with an ESCO (Energy Services Company) for the corporate buildings at 69 W. Washington and 118 N. Clark, 4 courthouses and 5 highway maintenance facilities. The guaranteed energy savings agreements allowed Cook County to make large-scale energy efficiency upgrades with a guaranteed return on the invested capital. Investments in energy conservation measures are recouped through the savings they generate, and the ESCO guarantees the savings. These energy efficiency projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve occupant comfort, and upgrade lighting infrastructure, aging mechanical systems and temperature controls. For more details, go to:

Previous ESPCs

Previous energy savings performance contracts were implemented in 2014-2015 at the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Detention Center (JDTC), and Stroger Hospital Campus.  Both of these projects are currently in the measurement and verification period of the contracts.  The M&V period is essential for the County to realize the savings from the initial investment.

Countywide Demand Response Program

Demand response is the ability for a facility to curb power usage on request when the demand on the grid exceeds available supply.  Cook County participates in demand response.  During a curtailment event, the Department of Facilities Management shuts down non-critical electricity consuming devices in order to reduce demand on the grid.  This decrease in energy usage not only benefits the County, but helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Cook County Sustainability Reports

Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

In 2014, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved the Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance for the County's government building portfolio.  

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Cook County was the first governmental agency in Illinois to pass an energy initiative with an ordinance requiring all new construction of government-owned buildings to be LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified by the US Green Building Council.  LEED is a point-based rating system developed by the US Green Building Council which allows the owner to select energy conservation elements to incorporate into a design.

LEED Gold Certification Ceremony - 2017

Residential Treatment Unit (RTU) received LEED Silver Certification
  • The Residential Treatment Unit (RTU) and Reception (shown above), Classification, Diagnostic Center (RCDC) at the Department of Corrections achieved LEED Silver certification in late 2015. This new facility will efficiently respond to the increasing demand for mental health evaluations and treatment in a secure, contemporary, well-organized intake and state-of-the-art medical screening facility.


Provident Hospital Pharmacy - LEED Certified Building
  • Provident Hospital Pharmacy (shown above), achieved LEED Silver certification in 2012. Provident Hospital, located in the City of Chicago’s south side, was one of the first hospitals in America to be owned and operated by African-Americans. It was established in 1891 and acquired by Cook County in 1990.

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