- Created on 05 December 2013
Photo by Peoples Gas
Peoples Gas, ComEd, and Historic Chicago Bungalow Association are hosting an energy-efficiency fair this Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Chicago Public Library South Shore Branch (2505 E. 73rd Street). The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents of the community are invited to come out and sign up to receive free energy-efficiency equipment.
The fair's purpose is to help Chicago residents save money on bills, energy and the environment through appliance rebate programs offered by ComEd and Peoples Gas. One of the rebate plans is the Home Energy Rebate Program, which offers rebates for qualifying water heaters, boilers, furnaces, and other energy saving products and services, according to a news release from Bonnie Johnson, manager of public relations for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Customers can apply for a $50 rebate through the program if they have their boilers or furnaces tuned up by a licensed technician, Johnson said via phone.
Another rebate plan is the Home Energy Jumpstart Program, which is provided in partnership with ComEd. Qualifying residents who sign up can have free energy-saving products, including pipe insulation, showerheads, free programmable thermostats and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL), and kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators installed in their homes, the release stated.
Johnson stressed the advantages of having energy- efficiency programs.
"You can save up to 20 percent on your heating bill," she exclaimed. " The shower head is of low value but has high pressure. People can also get their furnaces inspected and it'll keep running efficiently throughout the winter. Come out to the fair, get the information, and sign up for the free energy equipment."
This is the fifth energy fair that Peoples Gas and its partners have hosted. Residents who cannot make this one can attend the last energy fair Saturday, Dec. 14, at Sherman Park Library (5440 S. Racine Ave) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you cannot make that either, visit www.peoplesgasrebates.com or call 855-849-8923, to get more information about the Home Energy Rebate Program and the Home Energy Jumpstart Program.
Representatives from Peoples Gas, the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and ComEd will provide more information about programs and incentives available for Chicago residents at the fair.
In other news, Peoples Gas, ComEd, and the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Incorporated (CEDA) will host a Utility Assistance & Resource Fair, Jan. 11, at the Salvation Army Red Shield Center, 935 W. 69th Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Representatives from the respective companies hosting will be on site to assist customers who are struggling with their energy bills. Also, there will be a number of other nonprofit, city, and state agencies present to help with customers.
Qualifying customers can apply for a LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) on site. Customers will also be able to apply for LIHEAP grants if their income is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. To find out if you meet those guidelines, go to www.aspe.nns.gov/poverty.
- Created on 04 December 2013
In this Aug. 15, 2012 file photo Mike Phillips, and other union protesters, supporters, and labor leaders boo Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in protest saying he is betraying the Democratic party's tradition of supporting working men and women, during Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. As lawmakers prepare to address a breakthrough solution to the state's $100 billion unfunded pension liability, the unions that represent Illinois' go.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The passage of a landmark bill to address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension crisis means the yearslong fight over how to address the massive shortfall now likely shifts to the courts, where its fate — and much-needed relief for the financially troubled state — remains highly uncertain.
Lawmakers approved a measure Tuesday to eliminate the $100 billion unfunded pension liability by cutting benefits for workers and retirees. Public-employee unions promised quick legal action if Gov. Pat Quinn signs the bill, which the Chicago Democrat said he will do "promptly."
The unions argue that the legislation violates a provision of the state constitution that says pension benefits may not be diminished. They criticized lawmakers who voted yes for approving a bill they say is clearly unconstitutional.
"A majority of legislators ignored and defied their oaths of office today — but Governor Pat Quinn doesn't have to. He can stay true to his oath and the legal promise made to public employees and retirees by vetoing this unfair, unconstitutional bill," a coalition of unions known as We Are One Illinois said in an emailed statement. "If he doesn't, our union coalition will have no choice but to seek to uphold the Illinois Constitution and protect workers' life savings through legal action."
But Quinn said he believes the legislation is constitutional and will be upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court.
"It is necessary for the economic good for the people of our state, and I think the court will see it that way," he said.
Senate President John Cullerton, meanwhile, said the legislation will provide an important test case.
"You can't find out about the constitutionality of the bill until it's actually passed," Cullerton said.
From California to Rhode Island, a number of states have dealt with similar pension troubles — many of which have also wound up in the courts, and with differing outcomes.
Read the rest of the story here.
- Created on 04 December 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Illinois House and Senate approved a long-awaited measure on Tuesday to reform the nation's worst-funded state public pension system.
The measure, championed by Democrat and Republican legislative leaders, passed the Senate in a 30-24 vote and the House in a 62-53 vote. The bill is expected to save Illinois about $160 billion over 30 years.
Read the story here.
- Created on 04 December 2013
Police are looking for 2 men after a 16-year-old girl was raped on the city's West Side.
Police say a 16-year-old girl who reported being sexually assaulted by two men Monday evening in a West Side alley in the city's Heart of Chicago neighborhood has recanted her story.
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