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Deadline Approaching: Chicago Benchmarking

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

It’s that time of year again. June 1, 2019 is the deadline for all commercial, institutional, and residential buildings in Chicago larger than 50,000 square feet to submit a benchmarking report in accordance with the City of Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance.

To unlock energy and cost saving opportunities, Mayor Rahm Emanuel adopted the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance in September of 2013, which calls on facility managers to track and submit energy data annually. By comparing energy usage year to year, building owners and facility managers are more likely to identify opportunities for improvement and make more informed decisions on energy projects. According to the benchmarking reports from the past several years, the City of Chicago estimates that benchmarked properties saved an estimated $21 million per year with cumulative savings of $60 million since 2014. Trends in the annual summary report indicate that properties who have reported their benchmarking data for two to four consecutive years, reduced energy use by up to two percent a year.

Benchmarking reports are completed using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager tool. Portfolio manager allows you to track energy usage across a collection of buildings to calculate energy performance, compare with similar buildings, and monitor improvements over time. Portfolio Manager also calculates an ENERGY STAR® rating for each of your buildings based on a 1-100 scale. Buildings that receive a score of 75 or higher are eligible to apply for an ENERGY STAR® certification but are still required to complete their benchmarking report each year.

Benchmarking data verification is required every three years which means a qualified in-house or third-party representative with proper credentials (i.e. Professional Engineer, Registered Architect, Certified Energy Manager) must review the data before you submit. 360 Energy Group can ensure your building remains in full compliance with Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. As a part of our services, we can benchmark your buildings through Portfolio Manager, verify your completed benchmarking data, and submit your benchmarking data to the City of Chicago.

If you live outside of Chicago, check with your city or county regarding benchmarking deadlines. The city of Evanston requires benchmarking data to be submitted for commercial buildings greater than 20,000 square feet by June 30, 2019. Cook County passed their own benchmarking ordinance in 2014 which requires county buildings greater than 30,000 square feet to submit benchmarking data by August 1, 2019.

For more information regarding benchmarking, contact 360 Energy Group Project Manager, Bryan Tillman, at or 773-236-8901 to ensure you remain in accordance with the benchmarking guidelines for your area.


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