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Park Forest is one of the top communities in the country in green power usage.Park Forest was officially recognized as a Green Power Community at the Sept. 6 board meeting held via Zoom.Green Power Communities are communities where the local government, businesses, and residents collectively use green power in amounts that meet or exceed the Environment Protection Agency’s Green Power Community usage requirements.Park Forest ranks 13th in the country for green power percentage of total electric use at 47.8%.Park Forest’s electric aggregation program, passed in 2012, served as the catalyst for the community’s switch to lower cost, clean energy. Through the electric aggregation program, the village has twice gone out to market on behalf of the Park Forest community to secure the most advantageous electric rates and services. The program has saved residents a combined $1.4 million dollars and has helped reduce the village’s consumption of fossil fuels produced with traditional coal burning energy sourcing.Park Forest’s current energy supplier, MC Squared Energy Services, produces 100% renewable energy sourced in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
The designation of Green Power Community is the latest in a list of notable awards and acknowledgments for Park Forest since adopting a sustainability plan in 2012. Park Forest is the winner of the Congress for New Urbanism Illinois Charter Award for Best Town Plan (2013), winner of the Illinois American Planning Association’s Best Sustainability Plan Award (2013), winner of the Governor’s Sustainability Award (2014), recipient of a 3-STAR Community Rating for leadership in sustainable practices by STAR Community Rating System, (2015), recipient of a Gold Community SolSmart designation from the Illinois Solar Energy Association (2018), and recipient of a 4-STAR LEED certified community (2019).For more on Park Forest’s sustainability efforts, visit villageofparkforest.com/sustainability.