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Benchmarking Boosts Chicago Building Performance

Feb. 24, 2016

Reporting ordinance increases energy efficiency.

Chicago’s buildings are taking major steps toward energy efficiency. A new report shows a five-fold increase in the number of properties reporting, as well as ENERGY STAR scores for eligible buildings that are roughly 16% higher than the national average. The 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report, now in its second year, also points to a decrease in weather-normalized site energy use among buildings reporting in both 2014 and 2015 as evidence that the policy is effective at improving transparency and energy efficiency.

With the benchmarking ordinance in its second year and many properties reporting for the first time in 2015, the study’s authors expect that as more buildings begin to benchmark and are able to compare their metrics year over year, Chicago properties could see energy cost savings up to $184 million annually. The study also found no correlation between property size or age and its energy performance, lending more credence to the idea that any building can achieve energy efficiency.

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