Chicago Is the Latest City to Require Energy Benchmarking for Large Commercial Buildings

The Chicago City Council passed the Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance last week. The ordinance will give the public access to energy-efficiency data for buildings more than 50,000 square feet. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has partnered with the City of Chicago to establish the Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative, showcasing the impact that energy-efficiency efforts can have on large buildings. The ordinance will continue to expand the impact of energy efficiency on the city’s skyline.

Rebecca Stanfield, deputy director of Midwest Policy for NRDC explains: “This ordinance can be huge for Chicago. Locked up in Chicago’s buildings is an enormous well of potential for saving money, creating jobs and reducing pollution through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. The City Council took a big step toward capturing all those benefits and took an important swipe at Chicago’s contribution to climate change. Knowledge is power—and in this case, knowledge about power can have some big benefits for this city.”

Chicago joins a growing number of cities that have adopted energy benchmarking policies for large commercial buildings, including Boston, Minneapolis, New York and Seattle.

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