Chicago’s city council energy benchmarking update
Chicago's Building Energy Use Benchmarking new ordinance calls on existing municipal, commercial, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 sq ft to track whole-building energy use.
Chicago's Building Energy Use Benchmarking ordinance now calls on existing municipal, commercial, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 sq ft to track whole-building energy use, report to the City annually, and verify data accuracy every three years. Under the leadership of current Mayor Rahm Emanuel, this new ordinance includes a much larger population of buildings and accounts for over 20% of total energy used by all buildings. Read more at the Chicago Energy Benchmarking website.
Former mayor, Richard M. Daley (1989-2011), set a goal for Chicago to become the greenest big city in the world. Individual projects can certainly help demonstrate this commitment, but the mayor charged his Department of Environment to think more broadly about policy initiatives. This included the creation of program incentives for building green housing at all residential market levels, assistance with the Green Permit Program, establishing the design and construction requirements for the $10 billion O'Hare Modernization Program as well as education and training for City Departments.
In September 2013, Mayor Emanuel and Chicago's City Council adopted the Chicago 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. "The Chicago Green Homes Program helps us work with homeowners, builders and developers to show them how their projects can help improve the quality of life for all residents of Chicago," said Daley.