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The City of Chicago Releases First Building Energy Benchmarking Report

The City of Chicago has released its first-ever energy benchmarking report using data collected under the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance (put into effect in June 2014). According to the report, which is based on the first set of benchmarking data from 2013, millions of dollars in savings are possible in the city’s largest nonresidential buildings. ESD assisted in this effort by working with the City and other industry professionals and groups to lead the Benchmarking Working Group, provide free live and webcast training sessions on the ordinance and Portfolio Manager tool, lead the Pro Bono Benchmarking effort, and assist individual properties in verification and reporting as well as energy reduction strategies and implementation.

Highlights of the 2014 City of Chicago Building Energy Benchmarking Report include:

  • Participation consisted of 348 of Chicago’s largest buildings, representing 260,000,000 sf of space and approximately 11% of citywide energy use in buildings
  • 90%+ compliance rate among buildings required to comply by June 1, 2014
  • Median reported ENERGY STAR score: 76 out of 100 – putting Chicago in line with comparable buildings in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC markets
  • Potential of 13-23% total energy reduction ($44-77 million in cost savings) if all buildings achieved the 50th or the 75th percentile for energy use intensity in their sector
  • Potential greenhouse gas emission reduction by 460,000 – 844,000 tons (equivalent of removing 95,000 – 150,000 cars from the road)
  • Investments to achieve savings could create over 1,000 jobs

What’s to come in 2015

Residential buildings over 250,000 sf and commercial buildings from 50,000 to 250,000 sf will be phased into the program in 2015. By June 1st, they will be required to benchmark, verify, and report their energy use with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. All buildings that reported in 2014 will benchmark and report by June 1st as well, but they are not required to verify data again until 2017.

Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center and Training

The City of Chicago and its partners provide free training and online resources to support the benchmarking process. ESD’s Edna Lorenz volunteers as one of the Chicago Energy Benchmarking trainers, and we have an entire team of individuals trained on the benchmarking tools and energy audit services.

To contact the Help Center: info@chicagoenergybenchmarking.org

For more information, visit: www.CityofChicago.org/EnergyBenchmarking

ESD as a Partner

ESD’s Energy+Eco, Commissioning, & Controls team specializes in identifying innovative solutions to reduce energy and operating costs throughout a building’s life cycle. Our sustainability professionals have been involved with Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking initiative through volunteer training sessions as well as by assisting individual buildings benchmark and submit accurate information. We are also able to help properties reduce their energy consumption through our Retro-Commissioning services. Explore our Energy+Eco services for more information.