In 2017, the City of Chicago created the Chicago Energy Rating System to improve the visibility and transparency of information required to be reported by building owners under the City’s 2013 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. As most of Elara’s clients already know, the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance requires large buildings located in Chicago (≥50,000 SF) to report energy use once per year, with additional data verification required every 3 years.
Under the new Chicago Energy Rating System, the first ratings were assigned between late August and mid-September 2019 for energy benchmarking reports that were due on June 1, 2019. Now that the first ratings have been assigned, building owners will receive an initial six-month period within which they are required to post their Chicago Energy Rating Placard on site in a prominent location and begin sharing the rating at the time of listing for sale or lease.
How Chicago Energy Ratings are Assigned
Under the four-star rating system, four stars will indicate the highest energy performance while a one-star rating will indicate a poor energy performer. Properties that have not submitted energy benchmarking information will receive zero stars.
Approximately 85% of buildings that report their data receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score from the Portfolio Manager energy benchmarking software. These buildings will, based on their 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, receive between one and four stars on the four-star Chicago Energy Rating System. Buildings with one, two, or three stars will be able to earn an additional star if they have improved by at least 10 points in the past two reporting years.
Approximately 15% of the reporting properties that are not eligible to receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score. These properties will receive an energy rating based on the building’s source energy use intensity (EUI), which is energy use per square foot, in comparison to national medians for properties of similar size and type. The lower the percentile for Source EUI, the better, as a lower EUI indicates less energy use per square foot. In these cases, the Chicago Energy Rating will be based on the following scale:
- 1st to 25th percentile for Source EUI: 4 Stars
- 25th to 50th percentile for Source EUI: 3 Stars
- 50th to 75th percentile for Source EUI: 2 Stars
- Above the 75th percentile for Source EUI: 1 Star
- Any building with one, two, or three stars with a 10% improvement in the past 2 years earns an extra star
What Building Owners Need to Do
- Ensure compliance with the reporting requirements under the City of Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance.
- Make sure you have received your Chicago Energy Rating Placard which were to be mailed by mid-September 2019.
- Post your Chicago Energy Rating Placard and begin sharing – on an ongoing basis — your rating at the time of listing for sale or lease within the initial six-month grace period.
Additional information about the Chicago Energy Rating System can be found here.