Will County, IL: Energy performance

Cumulative (vs. Baseline)7%
Annual (2019)-3%

Better Buildings Challenge Partners strive to decrease portfolio-wide source energy use intensity (EUI) and to increase the percent improvement compared to a set baseline. Will County’s data display includes 14 buildings totaling over 1 million square feet. Will County has improved energy performance by 6% across its changing building portfolio by completing energy efficient retrofits including lighting, HVAC, hot water heaters, windows, elevators, operating systems, and closing poor performing buildings while constructing new, energy efficient buildings that implement beyond code measures and energy-aware certifications, like LEED. In 2012, Will County passed its first-ever Energy Efficiency & Conservation Plan that set priorities for energy efficiency across its facilities in conjunction with the Better Buildings Challenge. Will County Board-approved energy usage and cost reduction measures demonstrate green capital projects, like green roofs, reflective roof coatings, low-e windows, LED lighting, increased insulation and more. In 2017, Will County released their first ever 5-year progress report, "Five Years of Energy & Water Conservation Success," which highlighted the cumulative impact of quantifiable projects such as those aforementioned. Will County is currently in the process of updating their 2012 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Plan to reevaluate and strengthen its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy both internally and within the greater community.


Looking at the percent improvement in energy performance across all properties can provide insight into how an organization is saving energy. Will County has achieved energy performance improvement of more than 1% or more at 13 properties. Some of the poor performing properties were demolished in 2017, with construction for new, energy and water efficient properties underway to be completed in 2020. After creating a Capital Equipment Replacement Fund in 2016, the Will County Board approved the LEED Gold certification requirement for the new Will County Courthouse, expected completion 2020. Additionally, 2017 saw the completion of a new Public Safety Complex that will hosts a variety of energy efficiency measures thanks to ComEd and Nicor's New Construction Program, which awarded Will County over $60,000 in incentives for measures taken in the construction of this facility. Other new energy and water conservative facilities to be built include a new health department, animal control facility, and emergency management agency vehicle storage and office building. Will County is able to more accurately prioritize both regular maintenance and operations through the acquisition of a building maintenance and operations management system that allows maintenance staff and other personnel to communicate necessary work requests that, in some cases, can affect the energy and water efficiency of a facility. This step represents Will County's progression to a more proactive approach to facility operation and maintenance that is expected to yield measurable results in the coming year.


Property-level energy performance metrics, including EUI and percent improvement to date, are critical to track progress over time and identify opportunities for additional energy savings. Will County's portfolio consists of properties with a wide range of baseline EUI values mostly between 100 and 400 kBtu/sq. ft. The properties located near or below the 0% axis present good opportunities to target for further savings. The Energy & Conservation Specialist, working with Will County's four Facilities Maintenance Supervisors and newly-established Facilities Maintenance Director are laying a framework for the next series of energy improvements to existing buildings by completing a comprehensive facility improvement plan that will prioritize facility's improvements using criteria such as cost-saving potential, return-on-investment, energy efficiency impact, improvement to operational efficiency, impact on employee and resident health and safety, and more. This plan will also identify the appropriate funding source, the execution fiscal year, and the category of the project, such as standardization and modernization, This plan will be presented to Will County leadership who will approve the plan for implementation.