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Environmental Protection & Preservation

Chicago's Landmark Sears Tower Benefits Substantially from EnergyConnect's Demand Response Program

EnergyConnect, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microfield Group, Inc, and industry leader in innovative demand response technologies, today announced with US Equities Asset Management, LLC, a leading national real estate manager and leasing firm, that Chicago's landmark Sears Tower has earned significant revenue over the last year by participating in EnergyConnect's FlexConnect program.

In addition to the direct economic benefit to Sears Tower, the property was able to assist the electrical grid and its customers by reducing electrical load from the system, helping relieve strain on the grid in an environmentally friendly manner.

Sears Tower is the premiere corporate office building in Chicago and is home to a diverse group of prominent companies. Rising to a height of 1,450 feet, the Tower is the third largest office building in the world.

"As energy demand and costs continued to rise, it became more important than ever for us to incorporate energy efficiency measures into our building management strategy," said Dale Clark, Vice President, Operations, at US Equities Asset Management, LLC, Sears Tower's managing and leasing agent.

"Using EnergyConnect's FlexConnect platform has allowed us to take easy and quick steps to adjust our energy usage on elements such as air conditioning and heating, while earning significant revenues in return. It has been a pleasure working with EnergyConnect and we look forward to continued collaboration," Clark added.

Sears Tower voluntarily reduces energy consumption at times when electricity is in peak demand and the energy grid is strained, helping balance the electricity grid and limiting the need to ramp up costly greenhouse gas emitting plants to meet the region's energy requirements. To provide the most beneficial solution possible, EnergyConnect worked with Sears Tower personnel to upgrade the property's building automation system to provide more timely data for better guidance in the Demand Response program.

"Demand response is just one component of the overall greening of the Tower, as we upgrade our systems and lighting to reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint. Demand response has had the most immediate return on our investment, however, and has actually funded some of our other green upgrades," commented Tom Dempsey, General Manager of Sears Tower.

EnergyConnect's FlexConnect platform allows participants to control their total energy costs and receive incentive payments by voluntarily reducing electricity usage in response to high market pricing or regional shortages. Unlike other demand response programs that require performance based on utility or grid-initiated events, FlexConnect allows participants to voluntarily engage in demand response when the time and price is right for them.

"Sears Tower is an enormously complex building with a significant amount of energy demand. We have collaborated with building managers to implement our demand response program and reduce energy consumption without impacting the comfort of any of the building tenants," said Brian Gallagher, Vice President of Business Development for EnergyConnect, Inc. "We look forward to continuing our work with Sears Tower."

Chicago is the city where EnergyConnect pioneered its next generation voluntary demand response products and services in 2005. The city's businesses continue to be early adopters of EnergyConnect's industry leading technology, which enables them to earn money for using electricity more intelligently. EnergyConnect is the leading demand response provider in Chicago, exceeding revenue generation of all other providers combined.

EnergyConnect tailors its FlexConnect products and services to function with the capabilities of a wide range of facilities in Chicago and nationwide, including manufacturing facilities, municipal and government institutions, universities, hospitals, commercial buildings, and retail chains.

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