Chicago Benchmarking Yields Energy SavingsBuildings, January 7, 2015
As part of Mayor Emanuel’s three-year plan to make Chicago more sustainable and energy efficient, the 2014 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report includes data from nearly 350 buildings spanning over 260 million square feet and covering diverse sectors such as healthcare, office settings, and schools. The city looks to improve the process and involve more facilities by lowering the square feet threshold from 250,000 to 50,000 for mandatory benchmarking by 2016.
The report shows that by improving all reporting buildings’ energy intensity to the 50th and 75thpercentile could result in total energy reduction of 13-23% and savings of $44-$77 million on energy costs, also resulting in 1,000 new jobs from the investments necessary to perform improvements. Additionally, the report finds that building space use, as opposed to size and age, is the primary driver of energy intensity.