Energy rating system for buildings - Chicago

Last updated: 9 September 2019

On November 21st, 2017, the Chicago City Council created the Chicago Energy Rating System with the goals of improving the visibility and transparency of the information reported under the existing Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance (adopted in 2013). The original Energy Benchmarking Ordinance requires large buildings (those 50,000 square feet or greater) to report energy use once per year, with additional data verification required every 3 years. The Chicago Energy Rating System updates from 2017 do not change the reporting requirements, but instead are intended to make the reported information more visible and easier to understand.


In summary, the updates will create a new Chicago Energy Rating system starting in 2019 for buildings required to benchmark and report their energy use (which includes most properties that are 50,000 square feet or larger in size located in the City of Chicago). The first ratings will be assigned after energy benchmarking reports are due on June 1, 2019, between late August and mid-September, 2019. Once the first ratings are assigned in 2019, building owners will receive an initial six-month grace period, and then will be required to post their Chicago Energy Rating Placard on site in a prominent location after the end of this initial grace period. Property owners may voluntarily choose to post their Placards during this initial six-month grace period.


A rating of four stars indicates the highest energy performance, while a rating of one star indicates a poor performer. Properties that have not submitted energy benchmarking information will receive zero out of four stars.

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