For building owners and contractors, making energy efficiency improvements to a property is a good idea, right? Check. How about making cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that reduce operating and maintenance costs and provide comfortable apartments for tenants, all made possible by low-cost financing? Checkmate.

As a seasoned property manager with more than 25 years in the business, John Brauc of Checkmate Realty and Development saw the value in making such energy efficiency improvements. That's why Brauc worked with Energy Impact Illinois and the Energy Savers program to upgrade his 23-unit apartment building on South Essex Avenue in Chicago.

Energy Impact Illinois helped connect Brauc with the Energy Savers program, an Energy Impact Illinois program for multifamily building owners, to identify the best energy efficiency investments. CNT Energy inspected the building and provided Brauc with a written report recommending cost-effective improvements that could reduce annual electricity and natural gas bills by 33 percent. Additionally, Community Investment Corporation, an Energy Impact Illinois lender, provided Brauc with a low interest loan of $85,000, allowing him to invest in several important improvements to the building.

Today, thanks to the expert guidance and financing options through Energy Savers and Energy Impact Illinois, Brauc has equipped his building with a new, energy-efficient boiler and water heater, new boiler controls, and insulated heating and hot water pipes. Brauc was also able to air seal and insulate the building, which can have a big impact on energy bills, and, according to Brauc, has made a big difference in tenant comfort. The Energy Savers program "did everything from inspecting the building and recommending the upgrades that could save the most money, to helping find qualified contractors and checking to make sure that work had been done right," Brauc says.

Learn more about the Energy Impact Illinois program.