Illinois Benchmarking Policies

Illinois has two cities (Chicago and Evanston) and one county (Cook County) with local benchmarking ordinances. Click here to see how Illinois handles energy efficiency in state- and publicly-owned buildings.

Benchmarking Ordinance: Chicago, IL

The City of Chicago passed a building energy benchmarking and disclosure policy for public, commercial and high-rise residential buildings, making it the ninth city in the U.S. and second city in the Midwest to pass this kind of ordinance.

Title: Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance

Date Passed: September 11, 2013

Policy Language: SO2013-5384

Assistance: Chicago Energy Benchmarking Homepage; (855) 858-6878; Info@ChicagoEnergyBenchmarking.org

Summary:

The Chicago Benchmarking Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance requires public buildings and privately-owned commercial and high-rise multifamily buildings to track their annual energy consumption in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The ordinance also requires an annual report of the data to be open to the public. The ordinance affects 3,500 buildings in the city limits, which comprises more than 900 million total square feet. The Chicago City Council voted 32-7 to approve the ordinance.

 Compliance Deadline

Type of Building

Building Size Threshold

June 1, 2014

Public and commercial

250,000 square feet and larger

June 1, 2015 and each June 1 thereafter

Public and commercial

50,000 square feet and larger

June 1, 2015

High-rise multifamily

250,000 square feet and larger

June 1, 2016 and each June 1 thereafter

High-rise multifamily

50,000 square feet and larger

 

Benchmarking Ordinance: Cook County, IL

Cook County, IL became the first county in Illinois to  pass a policy that benchmarks energy use of county-owned and operated buildings over 35,000 square feet.

Title: Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

Date Passed: July 23, 2014

Policy Language: Ordinance 14-3584

Summary:

The Cook County Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance requires the county to track the annual energy and water use of its buildings that are larger than 35,000 square feet. The ordinance also requires an annual report of the data to be reported to the public.

The benchmarking ordinance was passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners after a 2013 report demonstrated that energy efficiency improvements in 33 county buildings had reduced overall energy use by 11 percent in these buildings since 2010, saving taxpayers an estimated $3 million. Upon its approval, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle stated, “I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability. The passage and implementation of this ordinance is a major step towards realizing our goal.”

 Compliance Deadline

Type of Building

Building Size Threshold

August 1, 2014

County

Exceeds 250,000 square feet for energy only

August 1, 2015

County

Exceeds 35,000 square feet for energy only

August 1, 2016 and each year hereafter

County

Exceeds 35,000 square feet for water & energy

 

Benchmarking Ordinance: Evanston, IL

Evanston passed an energy and water benchmarking ordinance in December 2016.. The ordinance requires city buildings 10,000 square feet and larger, and privately-owned buildings 20,000 square feet and larger (besides some condos) to report annual energy and water consumption.

Title: City of Evanston Building Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance

Date Passed: December 12, 2016

Policy Language: Ordinance 33-0-16

Assistance: City of Evanston Benchmarking Page; benchmarking@cityofevanston.org;  847-448-4311.

Summary:

The Evanston Building Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance requires public buildings and privately-owned commercial and multifamily buildings to report their annual energy and water consumption in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The ordinance affects privately-owned buildings 20,000 square feet and larger, except for condos under 50,000 square feet, and city-owned buildings 10,000 square feet and larger. The ordinance also requires verification by a certified third party every three years.

The Evanston City Council voted 7-2 to pass the energy benchmarking ordinance, which was under development since March 2015 as a mechanism to help Evanston meet energy goals. Buildings will be phased in according to size, with the first phase of buildings beginning to report June 30, 2017.

 Compliance Deadline

Type of Building

Building Size Threshold

June 30, 2017 and each June 30 thereafter

Public, commercial, and multifamily

City buildings 10,000 square feet and larger and privately-owned buildings 100,000 square feet and larger

June 30, 2018 and each June 30 thereafter

Commercial and multifamily

50,000 square feet and larger

June 30, 2019 and each June 30 thereafter

Commercial and multifamily except condos

20,000 square feet and larger