Three years ago Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance was adopted to raise awareness of energy performance through information and transparency, with the goal of unlocking energy and cost savings opportunities for businesses and residents.

Last year in 2015, over 1,840 properties totaling 614 million square feet reported under the ordinance. Analysis of reported data revealed the median ENERGY STAR scores are higher than the nationwide averages. Yet, the analysis revealed potential annual energy savings of 13-24% and $100-184 million in energy cost savings are possible by reducing energy use per square foot to median or above-median levels.

The data collected through the ordinance is also online and available to the public on the open data portal. In 2015, Chicago shared energy consumption data for large commercial and institutional buildings over 250,000 square feet, which included approximately 250 properties.



This year in 2016, residential properties from 50,000 to 250,000 square feet will be phased into the ordinance, and will be required to comply for the first time. A preliminary list of all buildings covered by the ordinance in 2016 has been published to the open data portal.

The 2016 compliance deadline for all covered properties is June 1, 2016.

Notification letters have been sent to all property owners and managers on file, but if you believe your property is covered by the ordinance and you didn’t receive a letter, please complete the online Chicago Energy Benchmarking ID Request Form.


Chicago Energy Benchmarking – Covered Buildings – Map


If you need to help, there are a plenty of opportunities to get assistance with reporting. There are free trainings, a Help Center, guidance materials, and pro-bono assistance for eligible organizations.

Find out more by visiting the city’s energy benchmarking website or contact the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center at (855) 858-6878 or by email to

Feature image titled “Navy Pier Sunset” by Chris Pelliccione  and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0).

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