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Park Forest announced today it has signed on to take the Chief’s Energy Challenge, a nationwide program for fire departments to reduce their energy use. Participants commit to reducing energy use by 10 percent in the first year and 20 percent by year three.
Many of the practices are low and no-cost tactics, including turning off the lights and appliances, installing whisker switches for fire bay doors, weatherization techniques and upgrading heating and cooling units. The Challenge also provides best practices and lessons learned from fire fighters who are already in the program. Each municipal fire department will have the opportunity to tailor its energy reduction strategy to best fit its needs. Many measures will not only save money but also result in more comfortable and efficient stations for the fire fighters.
Over the next three years, participants in the Chief’s Energy Challenge will use the EPA’s Portfolio Manager to record and track energy use of buildings in the program. Each participant is encouraged to implement energy reduction strategies that best fit the needs of the department. As each participant makes changes to their buildings, energy data will provide information on its effectiveness.