Elevate Energy Blog

How Cities and States Step Up to Meet Climate Goals

At Elevate Energy, we’re particularly excited to see multiple examples of states, cities, and committees taking action toward climate, energy, and sustainability issues.  In Illinois, the Future Energy Jobs Act demonstrates collaboration and leadership to strengthen the Illinois economy and ensure an equitable clean energy future. We also recently presented strategies to help Iowa City’s Climate Action Steering Committee put together an action plan to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. The Iowa City committee was formed in June 2017 following the current federal administration’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

In our backyard, the City of Chicago also committed to the goals of the Paris agreement, including a 26 to 28 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The City is nearly halfway toward meeting that goal! Energy use in buildings represents over 70 percent of the Chicago’s current greenhouse gas emissions—improving energy efficiency in buildings will help the City meet long-term climate goals.

DRAFT_Chicago_Energy_RatingThe City is planning to update the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance with an aim to improve the visibility and transparency of the reported information and to make it easier to understand. The proposed updates would create a new rating systems for large buildings (over 50,000 square feet) that are already required to benchmark. Buildings in compliance would receive one to four stars based on their ENERGY STAR® score. The ratings would be issued by the City and would be posted on the buildings. If adopted, the new rating system would go into effect in 2018. See the proposed mock-up at left.

Elevate Energy’s Critical Role

Energy benchmarking is a valuable tool to understand how buildings use energy and to identify the steps that can be taken to reduce wasted energy and lower energy costs. Elevate Energy assists communities and individuals in numerous ways, from developing and implementing full-scale ordinances like Chicago to benchmarking institutional, commercial, or residential building portfolios of one or 200 buildings to supporting multifamily building owners with compliance services. Learn more here.

In Chicago, we’ve been supporting the City in the successful implementation of its Energy Benchmarking Ordinance since 2014. We’re proud to operate the bilingual Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center, which provides detailed guidance to building owners, from how to gather initial data to electronically submitting a benchmarking report. We also help the City identify and notify owners who need to comply with the ordinance and send owners a confirmation of compliance.

Year two results or the ordinance showed a potential savings of $184 million and staggering opportunities for even greater impact. Additionally, our impressive, agile Help Center handled more than 6,000 interactions! Stay tuned for 2017 results.