Will County, IL

Will County, IL

Will County is a collar county located in the Chicago metropolitan area. The County’s population is approximately 700,000 and is the fastest growing County in Illinois in the past 10 years listed in the top 100-largest counties in the nation by population, experiencing a 37 percent population increase between 2000 and 2017. Will County government employs more than 2,300 full and part-time employees.

Will County has committed to reduce its energy usage by 20 percent by 2022 across its portfolio of facilities. While Will County stands just short of the halfway mark to its 20 percent goal at the end of 2017, Will County remains confident that the next 5 years will prove successful in meeting its reduction goal.

Going forward, Will County is going to continue efforts that have proven successful, such as working with the local utilities to assess facilities at little to no cost to identify energy reduction measures that will yield the highest and best reduction results. Will County is going to also initiate new efforts to help overcome energy reduction obstacles that remain, like working with employees and management to better engage a culture of reductionism. By sparking employee engagement and assigning accountable members of the Will County team to be stewards of conservation, Will County will be able to tackle some low-hanging fruit that is hard to pick when it comes to asking people to rethink their workplace habits.

Will County will also push towards 20 percent by working with elected officials and leadership to revamp its 2012 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Plan. The plan will receive a facelift if format and goals that better align with Will County’s current goals and speak more accurately to the current legislation and industry advancements that alter the approach to conservation. New goals will be partnered with key actions items that outline how each goal is to be achieved, creating a roadmap for success.

In preparation for the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Plan update, Will County completed its first-ever comprehensive 5-Year Review of Energy & Water Conservation Effort. This document outlines all energy and water-saving-related efforts taken since 2012 and analyzes their impact on cost savings over the lifetime of each measure. The Review also highlights notable policy changes, assessments, and research projects that have or will aid Will County in reducing energy and water use or in expanding efforts in the areas of renewable energy.

The County continues to use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to collect and assess data to measure energy usage. Will County is also looking at new energy data collection techniques, such as sub-metering, to better associate varying demands with associated facility uses, which will enable energy and facility staff members to more accurately target energy efficiency opportunities and better measure the impacts of past efforts.

Will County completed the construction of its new Public Safety Complex & Sheriff's Department at the end of 2017, which was awarded $60,000 in utility energy efficiency program incentives for energy-efficient measures taken in the new building’s design, construction, and commissioning. This isn’t the only energy efficient building coming to Will County. In fall 2020, Will County will complete its first LEED-certified facility. The LEED Gold courthouse will boast a host of sustainable measures, including green rooftops and a rooftop ready for solar panels. Will County is projected to receive nearly $60,000 in utility energy efficiency program incentives for this facility as well. Two smaller new builds, an Emergency Management Agency Vehicle Storage Facility and an Animal Control Facility, will also participate in utility energy efficiency programs for their sustainable design and construction.

In 2018, Will County is working to analyze all of its properties rooftops and open spaces solar potential. With a comprehensive and current assessment that illustrates the economic and environmental benefits associated with installing solar PV or solar thermal systems on County properties, Will County Leadership is working to integrate renewable energy into short and long range capital planning.

Challenge Commitment
1.1Million Square Feet
Energy Goals
20%Reduction in Energy Intensity
Progress
8%Cumulative (vs. Baseline)
Showcase Project