2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report and Building Data Released

As one of the third-party verifiers for the Chicago Benchmarking Ordinance, Eco Achievers is pleased to share the 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report (link) and the first release of building-level energy performance data (link) under Chicago’s Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance (www.CityofChicago.org/EnergyBenchmarking).

These efforts (and more) are raising awareness and transparency about building energy use, with the goal of accelerating the market for energy efficiency.  Key 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking findings include:

  • Reach: Five-fold increase in participation, with 1,840 properties (614MM square feet) that reported in 2015
    • All 77 Chicago neighborhoods had at least one participating property
    • 84% reporting rate (92% by square footage)
    • Benchmarking participants represent ~20% of citywide building energy use
  • Performance: High overall energy performance above national median levels
    • Median reported ENERGY STAR score of 58 (see full report for sector-level analysis)
    • Same building, year-over-year data show a decrease in total energy use
    • 2015 results showcase high-performing buildings of all types, ages, and sizes
  • Opportunity:  Significant annual savings potential from raising energy performance to median and 75th percentile levels:
    • 13-24% energy use reduction potential
    • $100-184MM cost savings potential
    • Potential GHG emissions reduction in equivalent to removing 167,000-306,000 cars from the road
    • Investment to achieve these reductions could produce up to 2,000 jobs
  • Support: Extensive outreach, partnership, and building engagement
    • 4,800+ building interactions through the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center
    • 20 free, public training and building support sessions with 150+ individual participants
    • 60+ buildings (8.9MM square feet) received pro-bono assistance from local experts and service providers

These milestones – which have been achieved in just over two years since the ordinance was first enacted– represents a remarkable collaboration among the City, Chicago’s real estate community, and local and national partners.

Looking forward, the City and partners will engage each of this year’s benchmarking participants with building-specific data and energy recommendations.  In 2016 we will see expanded implementation of Chicago Energy Benchmarking, as the ordinance calls on all commercial, institutional, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to report 2015 energy data by June 1st  2016. Need compliance? View Eco Achievers' services for Chicago's Benchmarking Ordinance.

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