What is happening with Energy Benchmarking Policy in Illinois?

The City of Chicago passed an update on the City’s energy benchmarking ordinance in November 2017. The current ordinance, which was established in 2013, requires buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to take steps to measure and report on their energy usage. The ordinance covers roughly 23% of the city’s energy use, and has reduced energy usage roughly 4%.

The Chicago benchmarking ordinance requires annual assessments of energy usage, and most buildings receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score once they report their energy use. To increase transparency and awareness, the 2017 ordinance update will provide buildings a new rating based on a four-star system that will reflect how well the building has incorporated energy efficiency measures. This new rating layer will provide an additional incentive for building owners to make their properties more efficient, and provide a more accessible way for the public to understand which buildings are working to reduce their energy usage. This updated ordinance will be enacted in June 2019. Learn more about these updates here.

In December, 2016 the Evanston City Council voted to approve the energy and water benchmarking ordinance which requires buildings larger than 20,000 square feet in Evanston to track and report their annual energy and water usage. Benchmarking ordinances seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings which aligns with Evanston’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors. Learn more and find resources here.

Benchmarking Training & Assistance:

Illinois Green Alliance members have provided over 50 free trainings and one-on-one assistance to assist buildings in Chicago and Evanston to comply with the ordinances, understand how to use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and provide next steps toward energy efficiency improvements and sustainable operations best practices.

Beyond Benchmarking 101: Sign-up for upcoming training to understand how you can use your benchmarking data to make energy efficiency improvements and save money in your building. Learn more here.  A schedule of 2018 trainings for both Chicago and Evanston is coming soon.

Pro Bono Benchmarking: Buildings in need, can apply for pro bono benchmarking support. Learn more here.

BIT Buildings: The BIT Building Program is a framework that drives the adoption of sustainability best practices in existing buildings, leading to measurable improvements. BIT focuses on the three impact areas most essential to a sustainable future: energy efficiency, water efficiency, and waste reduction. BIT provides structure, peer support, expert guidance and public recognition for buildings working to reduce their operational impacts on the environment. Learn more here.

Energy Benchmarking and Efficiency Service Providers:

Illinois Green maintains an online directory of companies that offer fee-for-service support for energy benchmarking, data verification, and other efficiency efforts. Illinois Green created this directory to help interested buildings find firms that provide benchmarking-related services.

As a reminder, the Chicago and Evanston Benchmarking Ordinances do not require covered buildings to hire outside support.

Note: This directory contains self-reported service provider information.  Buildings should exercise all due diligence when selecting an energy service provider. Illinois Green, the City of Chicago and City of Evanston do not guarantee the quality or pricing of the work provided by these firms, and the firms listed in the directory do not have any affiliation with the City of Chicago or the City of Evanston.

View the Energy Service Provider Directory.

(If you would like your firm to be include in the service directory, please complete this survey.)

Learn more about the City of Chicago Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Ordinance here. (Enacted September 2013; Updated November 2017)

Learn more about the City of Evanston Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance here. (Enacted December 2016)