Showcasing Sustainability Efforts for the Secretary of Energy

On the morning of October 12, Mercy Housing Lakefront was delighted to host U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and a group from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a tour of Englewood Apartments. Terri Bowman, a resident of the community, showed Secretary Granholm and visitors the features in her apartment home.

Englewood Apartments is an excellent example of our long-term commitment to environmental sustainability. When Englewood Apartments was originally built in 2010, it included many sustainability features intended to reduce energy and water consumption, including a hybrid geothermal system with solar thermal panels for hot water heating, a green roof which reduces energy usage and the urban heat island effect, energy efficient windows, low-VOC paints, and low-flow toilets, faucets, and shower heads.


Since 2019, Mercy Housing’s environmental sustainability program, Green Hope, has partnered with Elevate and ComEd to complete an LED lighting retrofit of common and exterior areas and received a grant from U.S. Bank to upgrade most of the existing refrigerators with highly efficient Energy Star certified refrigerators. These coordinated efforts have reduced the energy use intensity (energy per square foot) by 18% over the last five years and reduced the carbon footprint of the property by 46 tons!

Following the tour, Michelle Butler kicked off a press conference by sharing her personal experience living at Englewood Apartments. She then introduced Secretary Granholm who announced the DOE’s eighth Energy Earthshot: the Affordable Home Energy Shot. This Earthshot aims to reduce costs of decarbonization for residential buildings while reducing energy bills by 20% within a decade.