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Energy Conservation

Energy conservation projects identify and activate opportunities for building occupants to use less energy through smart behaviors.

  • Energy conservation icon


    Save energy by lowering usage
    Essential to building operations, energy consumption is a major cause of climate change. Energy use and associated emissions has an impact on Chicago communities and represents an opportunity for us to mitigate our environmental impact. Energy conservation programs are an important element of the district’s strategy to save energy. Within CPS, every community member has the opportunity to help decrease energy costs and emissions. Turning lights and equipment off are examples of energy conservation.

  • Goal icon


    Reduce electricity consumption by 30% by 2025 from 2019 baseline
    Reducing consumption by 2025 requires a multitude of strategies from installing energy efficient appliances, implementing energy management solutions, and encouraging smart energy behaviors.

    Reduce natural gas consumption by 20 percent by 2025 from 2019 baseline
    Reducing the consumption of natural gas requires balancing smart heating usage and ensuring equipment is tuned to maximize efficiency.

  • Strategy icon


    Our plans to reduce energy usage include:

    • Explore establishing an energy champions program
    • Identify energy related behaviors and develop resources to educate students, staff, and faculty on smart energy behaviors
    • Explore establishing working groups to promote a culture of energy conservation within CPS
    • Develop 2022 Energy Policy

Program Details

Energy is key to power school operations, heating and cooling buildings, and fueling equipment. Energy conservation is one of the strategies CPS pursues to mitigate emissions and save money. These strategies seek to avoid using energy, for example by turning off lights.

The chart below identifies the impact of various end uses on a school’s average energy consumption. Heating, cooling, and lighting are the largest energy consumers in schools. As a result, we are taking steps to reduce wasted energy and achieve significant energy cost savings, starting with heating, cooling, and lighting. These investments will produce environmental, economic and educational benefits.

Electricity Natural Gas
Water Heating
Office Equipment
Other (Plug loads, etc.)

Smart energy behavior doesn't just impact CPS but also the wider community. While most energy behaviors can be universally applied, at CPS, some groups are better suited to influence how certain equipment is used. Building managers can ensure infrastructure such as temperature controls and ventilation units are adjusted to operate only when students and staff are in the building. Staff and teachers can turn lights off when leaving classrooms or offices and unplug any appliances that do not need to operate at night. Students can shut down and unplug any devices after they are done using them. 

We have already implemented numerous programs around energy conservation:

  • Establishing building occupancy schedules
  • Removing personal space heaters and appliances
  • Procuring Energy Star equipment and appliances

Energy and Sustainability Programs

View more sustainability programs that are helping to reduce consumption of energy and increase the renewable resources used throughout the district.