Savings Through Efficient Products (STEP)

An average building wastes about a third of the energy it pays for, according to the US Department of Energy. While investment in an energy audits and retrofit pays for itself quickly, for a limited time there is a new way for public facilities to start saving money right away without the upfront investment.

Savings Through Efficient Products (STEP) offers qualified public facilities free, high quality, energy saving products. Whether a school, park, community center, library or other public facility, beneficiaries can save enough energy to power a single family home in the first year alone. To date, more than 100 public schools and parks have saved a combined $100,000 per year on energy costs.


  1. STEP begins with a free onsite facility energy assessment to identify opportunities for upgrades.
  2. MEEA orders applicable products and provides a comprehensive report outlining the free upgrades, details about MEEA’s second tier retrofit program and information about additional statewide energy saving programs.
  3. Facility maintenance teams installs the free energy saving products within four months of delivery and the facility saves energy and money.

Free Products Include:

  • LED Exit Signs
  • Low-flow Faucet Aerators
  • Low-flow Showerheads
  • Kitchen Pre-rinse Green Nozzles
  • CFLs
  • Vending Machine Controls
  • Occupancy Sensors
  • LED Screw-in Bulbs for Outdoors

Part of the STEP program’s strength lies in its infinite scalability and potential to offer new incentives to a wide range of public facilities throughout an ever-expanding region. Already the program demonstrates a propensity for rapid growth, exceeding first year participation goals by 50 percent and responding to increasing demand daily. Another sign of growth, MEEA now provides technical assistance and incentives for second-tier retrofits in public schools and park facilities eager to achieve deeper savings.


For more information about the STEP program, or to schedule an energy assessment, contact
Catherine Krasner at (312) 784-7259 or ckrasner@mwalliance.org.

Free assessments and products are currently available to Illinois public facilities that fall within Ameren, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, or North Shore Gas service territories.

Funding for the STEP program is provided the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Energy Office