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City of Chicago Releases 2015 Energy Use Assessment

In December 2015, the City of Chicago released the results of its second annual assessment of energy use in large commercial, institutional, and residential buildings throughout the city. Findings reveal that improving energy efficiency in these buildings could reduce energy use up to 24 percent, save up to $184 million in energy costs, create as many as 2,000 jobs, and cut carbon pollution equivalent to removing 306,000 cars from the road.

In conjunction with its 2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report and infographic, the City published information on approximately 250 of the its largest buildings on the Chicago Data Portal. “By increasing awareness and transparency on building energy use, Chicago is accelerating the market for energy efficiency and uncovering opportunities to save money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Karen Weigert, the City of Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

Chicago’s 2015 report includes data collected through its Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance. The 2015 report examines aggregated 2014 data from more than 1,800 buildings that cover more than 600 million square feet and represent approximately 20 percent of citywide energy use. The 2015 results mark a five-fold increase in participation from the previous year. Overall, Chicago buildings reported a median ENERGY STAR score of 58 out of 100, which is 16 percent higher than the national median of 50.

Users can interact with the City of Chicago’s 2015 building energy performance data on a new web site produced jointly by Chicago and the City Energy Project. Chicago is one of 10 cities currently participating in the City Energy Project, a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation. The initiative is developing locally tailored plans and programs to create healthier, more prosperous and more resilient cities by reducing carbon pollution from their largest source: buildings.

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