2014 Chicago Building Energy Benchmarking Report
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2014 Chicago Building Energy Benchmarking At-A-Glance
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Chicago Energy Benchmarking Support
“This ordinance will help to capture the information to enable better informed real estate decisions and unlock the market for energy efficiency. We believe that this ordinance addresses key business and policy priorities in our sector, including saving money, creating local jobs, protecting our health, and promot[ing] Chicago’s position as a leading sustainable city to attract new business and succeed in the global market place.”
– Commercial and Residential Real Estate Management Executive
“Energy efficiency is not a passing fad; it has become a core value and operating principle for many of Chicago’s largest corporate tenants, condo owners, and residential tenants.”
– Commercial and Residential Real Estate Manager
“Energy [benchmarking and] disclosure [across our management portfolio of more than 1,000 buildings] has helped [condominium] board members feel comfortable making decisions to improve efficiency because they have more accurate data on which to base their decision. They are also able to better quantify the investment and return they will generate. We have found that the more informed owners are about their building’s environmental impact, the more empowered they are to improve it.”
– Residential Portfolio Director of Operations
The next Chicago Energy Benchmarking compliance deadline is June 1, 2015 for municipal and commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and for residential buildings larger than 250,000 square feet.
Questions? We can help! Call the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center at (855) 858-6878 (M-F 9am-5pm) or email Info@ChicagoEnergyBenchmarking.org.
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.
Improving energy efficiency is a key element of Sustainable Chicago 2015, Mayor Emanuel’s action agenda to make Chicago more livable, competitive, and sustainable.
The 2014 Chicago Building Energy Benchmarking Report is now available.
Thank you to all Chicago building owners and representatives who benchmarked, verified, and reported for the first time in 2014!
Note: In accordance with the ordinance, 2014 building-specific data will not be made public.
Buildings reporting for the first time in 2015 are required to benchmark, verify, and report data. Commercial and municipal buildings that verified data in 2014 will benchmark and report in 2015 but are not required to obtain official data verification again until 2017. Deadlines for additional buildings will phase-in through 2016.
The Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance focuses on creating information that will enable better decision-making. It does not require buildings to make any mandatory investments. The ordinance has three parts:
The City will report each year on aggregate energy efficiency trends, and the ordinance authorizes the City to share building-specific data with the public beginning with buildings' second year of reported information.
The ordinance applies to existing municipal, commercial, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet, with first-time compliance deadlines based on size and occupancy use.
Using the best available information, the City will notify covered buildings in the years in which they are required to comply. Additional information on building occupancy classifications is available in the Municipal Code of Chicago Chapter 13-56.
The Chicago Energy Benchmarking ordinance will phase-in from 2014-2016. After a covered building's first annual compliance deadline, it must benchmark and report by June 1st every year thereafter, with data verification every third year.
First-time compliance deadlines are based on building size and occupancy use, according to the following schedule:
The next Chicago Energy Benchmarking compliance deadline is June 1, 2015 for municipal and commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and residential buildings larger than 250,000 square feet.
2015 Fact Sheet, Benchmarking Guide, Compliance Checklist, and FAQs:
Please refer to the following materials for step-by-step guidance on how to comply with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking ordinance:
How to Comply:
Additional Compliance Details:
Obtaining Whole-Building Energy Data: Owners and managers of covered buildings are strongly encouraged to take advantage of aggregated electricity and natural gas data provided by Chicago utilities at no additional charge to covered buildings.
Using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager: To facilitate building benchmarking, data verification, and reporting, the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online software tool developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
Please visit the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Training & Building Support page for additional materials and how-to videos on the Portfolio Manager software tool and the entire ENERGY STAR Program.
Once buildings have benchmarked energy use and verified data if this is the first year of compliance, please click here to report 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Data (link will prompt users to log in through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager).
Fulfilling the Data Verification Requirement / Finding A Recognized Data Verifier: To ensure that data is being tracked and reported correctly, covered buildings must have their energy and building data reviewed and verified every three years.
The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Verification Checklist, signed by a trained individual whose professional license or training program credential is recognized by the City, serves as proof of data verification. Data verifier information must be entered into the "Property Notes" section of each building's Portfolio Manager profile, as described in the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Guide and Compliance Checklist.
Data verifiers may be in-house building staff members or 3rd party professionals.
The City of Chicago currently recognizes the following data verifier licenses and training program credentials:
Additional data verifier licenses and training program credentials may be recognized by the City and posted to this website.
The City also recognizes buildings that have achieved ENERGY STAR Certification by the US Environmental Protection Agency as fulfilling the data verification requirement, provided that the building's ENERGY STAR certified data include at least six months of the calendar year for which Chicago Energy Benchmarking data verification is required.
Some covered buildings may be eligible for pro-bono data verification through the U.S. Green Building Council's Illinois Chapter, ASHRAE Illinois, AIA-Chicago, and local volunteers. Please scroll down to "Free Training & Building Support" for additional information on pro-bono data verification opportunities and other building support.
Reporting to the City: Once a building has been benchmarked in Portfolio Manager and data has been verified, covered buildings must submit their annual report to the City of Chicago using the 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Reporting Link.
After clicking the reporting link, users will be prompted to log into their Portfolio Manager account, which will guide them through several simple reporting steps (including selecting the building(s) on which to report, reviewing the information to be reported, and sharing that information with the City of Chicago).
Please click here to report 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Data (link will prompt users to log in through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager).
New for 2015, the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center is offering web-based forms for covered buildings to update their information and to request various exemptions under the ordinance.
Access Building Request Forms Online: Please visit the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Request Forms page for the following forms:
Please visit the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Training & Building Support page to sign up for free in-person training and other resources to help buildings comply with the June 1st, 2015 compliance deadline.
Upcoming 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Training Sessions:
US EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Support:
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) offers free online resources on energy benchmarking and performance improvement, including:
Pro-Bono Data Verification:
To assist qualifying covered buildings in complying with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, the City and partners are offering free professional data verifications through the ASHRAE Illinois Chapter, the U.S. Green Building Council Illinois Chapter, the American Institute of Architects Chicago, and local volunteers.
This pro-bono support seeks to ensure that all covered buildings have access professional data verification, even if they have limited staff and financial resources.
The application for pro-bono data verification support is available on the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Building Request Forms page, and additional program information is available here.
Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center:
Questions? We can help! The Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center provides phone and email support for all questions related to the ordinance:
In 2007, the State of Illinois passed legislation requiring energy utilities to set aside ratepayer funds to invest in energy efficiency. The resulting utility incentives expand opportunities for buildings to pursue subsidized energy efficiency improvements that save money and energy:
Private Commercial Buildings:
Public / Government Commercial Buildings:
More than 85 partner organizations have publicly supported Chicago Energy Benchmarking, including leaders across Chicago’s real estate, energy, and public interest communities. Please click here for a list of benchmarking benefits and public supporters.