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Today Mayor Emanuel announced 18 new participants in Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative, bringing the program’s total reach to over 28 million square feet. This doubles the 14 million square feet represented by the program’s founding 14 participants. The Commercial Buildings Initiative was launched on June 5 by Mayor Emanuel and U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu.
“This expansion of Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative highlights the leadership of commercial building owners, managers, and tenants in making Chicago a center of building efficiency and a place where companies are maximizing their ability to compete,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These participants understand that in the modern economic environment, it is critical to operate at maximum efficiency. The commitments that have been made by these 32 organizations will create jobs and foster growth throughout Chicago’s economy, while improving our environment as well.”
Energy efficiency and clean energy comprise one of seven focus areas outlined in Sustainable Chicago 2015, a three-year roadmap to drive sustainability through city operations, in residents’ day-to-day lives, and across our economy.
The Commercial Buildings Initiative is one component of Retrofit Chicago – the City’s cross-sector effort to accelerate energy efficiency in buildings – which also includes energy efficiency efforts in municipal and residential buildings.
Commercial Buildings Initiative participants voluntarily commit to reduce building-level energy use by 20% (below a 2010 baseline) within 5 years of joining the program. Upon achieving this goal, these 18 new participants will save an estimated $5 million per year in energy costs, reducing electricity use by approximately 65 million kilowatt-hours and natural gas use by over 700,000 therms. These actions will also avoid greenhouse gas emissions at a scale comparable to removing 8,500 cars from the road per year. Retrofit activity by these buildings is expected to create more than 100 jobs during the duration of the effort. Participating buildings also agree to begin energy efficiency work within 6 months of joining the initiative, to share progress and efficiency successes, and to serve as an ambassador to other buildings interested in conducting energy efficiency retrofits.
The City, its partners, and technical advisors are providing participating buildings with optional support on a range of topics including opportunity identification and prioritization, tenant engagement, and specific energy-saving technologies. The initiative is also helping to spread the word about participants’ energy efficiency efforts.
The new participants expand the breadth of building age, style, and function reflected by the Commercial Buildings Initiative:
Retrofit Chicago works in close coordination with related energy efficiency efforts, such as the Chicago Green Office Challenge, which engages building tenants to reduce energy use, water use, and waste. The Green Office Challenge recently launched its third round of friendly competition in 2013. Learn more at www.ChicagoGOC.com
This program draws on generous support from Commercial Buildings Initiative partners, including The Natural Resources Defense Council, ComEd, Peoples Gas, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative. Technical advisors include Shaw Infrastructure and Environment Group, US Equities, Sieben Energy Associates, and Positive Energy Practice. The City is also grateful for program support through The Joyce Foundation, World Business Chicago, and BOMA/Chicago.
In partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the City is launching a new website to highlight and celebrate building participants at www.RetrofitChicagoCBI.org. Additional information about Retrofit Chicago is available at on the City’s website, retrofit.cityofchicago.org.
Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative
New Office Participants:
New Hotel Participants:
New Large Residential Participants:
New Cultural Institution Participants: