August 6, 2003

The Chicago Transit Authority will install energy efficient upgrades at seven of its facilities as part of an Intergovernmental Loan Agreement between the CTA, the City of Chicago Department of Environment (DOE) and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). The upgrades, which will improve energy efficiency and reduce CTA utility costs, include lighting retrofits to improve electricity consumption, and heating ventilation and air conditioning improvements to reduce electrical or natural gas consumption. Once in place, the CTA expects to save $445,500 annually.

The $2.5 million loan agreement, approved today by the Chicago Transit Board, is part of a larger agreement in which ComEd provides loans to City and sister agencies for energy efficient retrofits. The Department of Environment administers the loans and agencies repay the loan from the savings in energy costs.

"The CTA has made a commitment to operate in an environmentally friendly manner," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The reduction in energy consumption along with environmental improvements to ventilation and air conditioning systems follow that commitment. We also have switched all diesel vehicles in CTA's fleet ? both buses and non-revenue vehicles ? to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel as a way of reducing emissions, thereby lessening the impact of our fleet on the environment."

"This intergovernmental agreement is an excellent example of what collaboration can achieve," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "I want to thank the City's Department of Environment and ComEd for providing the loan funds that will allow the CTA and other sister agencies to provide a better overall environment for our citizens, as well as substantial savings for the CTA."

In preparation, CTA conducted energy efficiency audits at several facilities and selected the North Park, Kedzie and 103rd Street bus garages, the 63rd/Racine and Kimball Rail Shops, South Shops and West Shops to receive the retrofits.

Lighting retrofits were completed in May, 2001 at Forest Glen, Archer, 74th Street bus garages and the rail maintenance facilities at 54th Avenue, Desplaines and 98th Street. The energy cost reduction at these facilities is $59,000 annually that would have otherwise been spent on shop lighting.

Based on the projected savings, the CTA will repay the $2.5 million loan in increments of $250,000 over a ten-year period beginning in 2005.

CTA is presently pursuing lighting retrofits at 77 of its rapid transit stations that would result in an energy savings of 20 to 30 percent a year.

Other City agencies that have taken advantage of the ComEd funds for energy infrastructure improvements include the Chicago Housing Authority which recently acquired a $2.5 million loan to make lighting upgrades at senior citizen housing complexes.

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