Chicago Retail Merchants Alert


DEADLINE  AUG. 1, 2015

Owners of certain commercial buildings located within the City of Chicago must comply with the new City of Chicago Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance by August 1, 2015.

Who must comply?

The Ordinance requires commercial and municipal buildings with between 50,000 – 250,000 square feet and residential buildings with over 250,000 square feet to submit verified reports on whole-building energy use and specific building attributes. The City has issued “2015 Notice of Upcoming Obligation to Comply” notices to applicable property owners over the past few weeks.

When must buildings comply?

Property owners must file their 2015 reports by August 1, 2015. Starting in 2016, annually updated reports must be filed before June 1st.

What are the direct costs associated with compliance?

In addition to time needed to gather energy and property data, in 2015, the first year (and every third year thereafter), buildings must have data reviewed by a City-certified in-house or third-party professional engineer, licensed architect, or other trained individual to verify data have been tracked and reported correctly. The costs for this service varies according to the number and complexity of the buildings under consideration.

    • For IRMA members with in-house staff who can be assigned to gather and report required building attributes and energy usage, and also have in-house staff who hold licenses or certifications required by the City to verify data – there may be no direct costs.
    • For members who do not have in-house staff who hold accepted credentials designated by the City to verify reported data, they, minimally, may incur out of pocket costs to hire a 3rd party to verify data.


Where can I find more information about benchmarking requirements?

Visit If you own a commercial building located in the City of Chicago that is 50,000 sq ft or larger and you did not receive notice from the City of Chicago, contact the Help Center at: or call (855) 858-6878.

IRMA Members Request Assistance

IRMA has received a number of inquiries surrounding Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking Reporting Requirements. In response, IRMA has asked Mark Pruitt, principal of The Power Bureau, to be available to help assist members with a wide range of services related to reporting requirements, including arranging for 3rd party professionals required for building and usage data verification. Mark has agreed to provide services at reduced rates for IRMA members, starting with a $50 hourly rate for site visits and data verification for single gas/electric account buildings. IRMA’s Utility Program Coordinator, Maggie Murphy, will be “on call” to assist Mark with this effort. You can contact Mark and/or Maggie directly.

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*One of the country’s most respected and innovative energy experts, Mark Pruitt served as the first Director of the Illinois Power Agency – the state agency responsible for securing wholesale electricity and renewable energy for the 4.7 million residential and small commercial accounts located in Illinois. He now advises energy managers (and others) in cities, businesses, non-profits, and universities, including providing insight into the deregulated (or not) market, legislation and regulation that is unique to them and the industry. Mark was selected by the City of Chicago to assist in establishing and implementing the country’s largest aggregation purchasing programs of its kind, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of energy buyers and consumers to force suppliers to adopt transparent bidding and contractual protocols in rates negotiations. His efforts include participating in dialogues with regulators, elected officials, advocates, utilities, and wholesale market operators to ensure stable rates for the future in environments which consumers are assured fairness and transparency.

Contact Information:

 TanyaTricheTanya Triche
Vice President & General Counsel