In a recent newsletter to her constituents, Seventh Ward Alderman Jane Grover included the following “green” items under the title “You might not know this about Evanston”:

• Earlier this year, Evanston was named as one of the top ten cities with the Greenest Communiters, placing it in good company among cities with residents having the most environmentally-friendly commuting habits.  

• Evanston was also designated as Citizen-Engaged Communities for 2012–2014 by the Public Technology Institute, the sole winner in the “under 75,000” population category. The award promotes innovation and collaboration in municipal government, and recognizes Evanston’s 3-1-1 Service Center for its use of technology to improve the management and delivery of services to Evanston residents and businesses.  

• Evanston earns high scores for its walkability, earning an average score of 75 (zip code 60201) out of 100, deemed “very walkable.” 

• Evanston, specifically the Chandler-Newberger Recreation Center, is the site of an energy storage demonstration project, a partnership between Verde Energy USA and Ice Energy. Verde, the City of Evanston’s municipal aggre-gation electricity supplier, installed Ice Energy’s “Ice Bear” technology at the Chandler center, a smart grid-enabled distributed energy storage system that relieves the workload on a air conditioner’s conventional condensing units.

The Ice Bear makes ice at night, when the electrical grid is less stressed during peak summer hours, and uses the melting ice to cool air for the compressors. The melted ice (water) is then recycled through the system back to ice overnight. The process lowers energy costs and increases grid reliability.