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Faster commutes, ENERGY STAR rated roofs and recycling initiatives are just a few of the projects DuPage County plans to launch. This community, one of the largest in Illinois, has received a $4.6 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant that will reduce both energy use and fossil fuel emissions.

Jeff Redick, chairman of DuPage County’s environmental committee, says the block grant will help save tax payers money by lowering expenses. “By reducing our energy consumptions we will reduce our operating costs,” Jeff says.

A total of 12 projects will be launched to make the county more energy efficient. Companies chosen to complete several of the projects must meet an important requirement. “Part of the criteria for our selection is that jobs be created,” says Jeff.

One project that’s sure to be popular with residents is the traffic synchronization plan. The project will shorten commutes and reduce idling time with new coordinating traffic signals.

Local businesses are getting in on the act as well with the Commercial Recycling Program. County staff will educate commercial businesses about the effect recycling can have on their bottom lines. Jeff says by reducing their overall waste costs, businesses will save anywhere from $400 to $1,000 per year.

The projects are as varied as using reusable dishware at a convalescent home to retrofitting campus parking garages with energy efficient lighting. One thing all 12 will have in common: the potential to slash expenses.