SEDAC (Smart Energy Design Assistance Center) hosted a webinar on “Considerations, Best Practices, and Energy Implications for Reopening Critical Community Facilities in the Pandemic,” which is available to view on their website. The webinar addresses how to create safe, healthy workplaces for employees and communities as buildings reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available guidance on safe building operations is complex and evolving, which makes it difficult to understand how to prepare buildings for safe operations – and why the recommended practices are effective. The webinar covered the science behind the virus and how it is transmitted, key building technologies and practices that should be considered to mitigate the virus and the energy impacts of these best practices. The recorded webinar provides facility managers and engineers, administrators, maintenance personnel, and other stakeholders with practical measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in buildings, as well as the justification to put these best practices into action.
A program for building owners, The Ameren Illinois Small Business Direct Install Offering, consists of a qualified Registered Program Ally conducting a free, no obligation, lighting assessment and providing a report identifying opportunities for upgrades throughout the building. Cash incentives available from Ameren Illinois will off-set out of pocket costs for the complete or partial installation of the program recommendations. Visit AmerenIllinoisSavings.com/SmallBusiness or call 1.866.800.0747 for more information or to schedule your small business lighting assessment. Homeowners can visit AmerenIllinoisSavings.com/MyHome to find ways to improve comfort, manage their energy use, and reduce costs.
The National League of Cities released the 2020 City Fiscal Condition Report with Chief Economist, Dr. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. Findings in the report reveal that America’s cities are experiencing the fiscal consequences of this pandemic-downturn at an unprecedented speed – and like recent recessions, it will take years for municipal budgets to recover from the impact of COVID-19. This is the unfortunate reality that local leaders are facing from coronavirus and the increasing revenue loss cities, towns, and villages are facing. The report found that nearly 90% of cities will be less able to meet the fiscal needs of their communities in fiscal year 2021 than in fiscal year 2020 (we have not seen a lack of fiscal capacity reported like this since the low point of the Great Recession); budget estimates for 2020, which were collected only two months after the pandemic started, demonstrate the immediate impact coronavirus had on sales and income revenues; and all major local tax revenue sources slowed in fiscal year 2020, with severe year-over-year-declines in sales (-11%) and income tax (-3.4%) receipts, and on average, cities anticipate a 13% decline in fiscal year 2021 general fund revenues over fiscal year 2020.
Illinois Extension’s Local Government Education program is offering a three-part webinar series on energy efficiency policy and programs. In the first session, Citizens Utility Board and Elevate Energy delivered a presentation on utility policy, demand response programs, and how electricity consumers can use smart meter upgrades. The second session covered Ameren’s energy efficiency programs, along with Stanley “Jay” Soloman and Ashley Belle, Extension Educators in Energy and Environmental Stewardship, giving an overview of Illinois Extension’s Smart Grid education program. Recordings from August 20 and 27 are online at https://go.illinois.edu/LGEarchives. On September 10, ComEd presenters will cover their energy efficiency programs. Read more and register for the series online.