Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

“In September 2013, Mayor Emanuel and Chicago’s City Council adopted a building energy benchmarking ordinance to raise awareness of energy performance through information and transparency, with the goal of unlocking energy and cost savings opportunities for businesses and residents. Chicago’s Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance (ordinance text, rules & regulations) calls on existing municipal, commercial, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to track whole-building energy use, report to the City annually, and verify data accuracy every three years. The law covers less than 1% of Chicago’s buildings, which account for 20% of total energy used by all buildings.” This ordinance is a move in the right direction for Chicago and its goal to continue to strive to be the most environmentally friendly major city within the United States. While this program is fairly new, its 2014 reports came out with some promising predictions of possible monetary and environmental savings for the city as a whole. “Energy benchmarking engaged the real estate and energy communities to increase transparency of building energy use and has uncovered tens of millions of dollars in potential savings. Delivering those savings will increase competitiveness as we work toward a brighter economic and environmental future for our city” –Mayor Rahm Emanuel




2 thoughts on “Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

  1. At least they’re smart enough to invest the savings back into the program to make these buildings more efficient. Lincoln hall is a good example of being sustainable; the windows allow the building to stay at a neutral 72 degrees regardless of the weather outside by using the least amount of energy. If they can implement this more, it’ll save a lot of money.


  2. This is the policy that I am most pleased about because of it’s ability to inform the public. Data is a great way to change things in a positive way. Energy usage data provides facts about many variables that can be manipulated to save energy and efficiently use energy. This data can also be used to research and develop a modern energy grid and even assist in developing a new method to store energy. I think this policy is a win-win; something that is rare in Chicago politics.


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