Chicago Approves Large-Building Energy Benchmarking
The Chicago City Council on September 11 approved an ordinance requiring the operators of the city’s largest buildings to benchmark the structures' energy use and authorize the City to disclose the energy efficiency for these buildings publicly. Through benchmarking and disclosure, the ordinance will spur the market for energy efficiency by encouraging building owners to make improvements, creating growth opportunities for energy service companies and contractors.
Under the ordinance, approximately 3,500 commercial, residential, and municipal buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to track and verify energy consumption using Portfolio Manager, a free web-based tool administered by the EPA. Covered buildings will report energy use data annually to the City through an automated process and be required to have their data verified by a licensed architect, engineer, or other professional recognized by the City every three years. The City will publish an annual report on energy efficiency. The ordinance will also allow the City to publicly disclose individual building energy performance, starting in June 2015. See the City of Chicago press release.