Chicago Energy Benchmarking Instructions & Guidance Materials

The Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance applies to commercial, institutional, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. 

Benchmarking reports are due by June 1.


Please scroll down for comprehensive guidance on how to comply with the benchmarking ordinance this year.



Have you benchmarked one or more buildings, and are looking to take the next steps on energy efficiency? Click here to learn about suggestions and resources for starting to improve the energy performance of your property(ies).

Return to the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Homepage

Questions? We can help!  Call the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center at (855) 858-6878 (M-F 9am-5pm) or email

Compliance Overview:

1.) Get Started: Determine whether your building must comply. You can review the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance and use this checklist to determine if your building is required to report. Identify a building lead.

2.) Benchmark Your Building in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager: Create an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account and property profile(s); gather basic information required by Portfolio Manager; obtain monthly, whole-building energy use data for all fuel types; enter property uses & details; enter energy use data; enter your Chicago Energy Benchmarking ID

3.) Verify Building Data: Generate a Data Verification Checklist in Portfolio Manager; have a recognized professional review and sign-off on the data; add data verifier information to Portfolio Manager. NOTE: this step is only required once every three years.

4.) Report to the City: Send required building and energy information to the City through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. NOTE: Each year, you must send data using a new URL, found on this website. Click here for the 2024 Reporting Link. 

Please refer to the Compliance Checklist and Benchmarking Guide for detailed step-by-step guidance. Or, refer to the free online training videos and local trainings.


Benchmarking Guidance Documents: 

Please refer to the following materials for additional background and step-by-step instructions to help you comply with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking ordinance (the annual reporting deadline is June 1st):


Covered Buildings List: 

Please click the following link for the most recent Covered Buildings List (City of Chicago Data Portal) of facilities that are required to comply with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking ordinance this year.  

The covered buildings list also contains the 6-digit Chicago Energy Benchmarking ID assigned to each building, which must be included with each building's annual benchmarking data.  Refer to the Compliance Checklist or Benchmarking Guide for additional instructions.

The Covered Buildings List also includes the next year that data verification is required for each property. All properties must complete data verification every three years. 

If your building meets the ordinance criteria (i.e. commercial / institutional / residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet) but does not appear on the covered buildings list:

  1. Check for an alternate address: Many large buildings have multiple street addresses
  2. Request a Chicago Energy Benchmarking Building ID by filling out this webform, or by contacting the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center. The Chicago Energy Benchmarking ID can also be found on the notification letter and email sent by the City in the spring.

If a building appears on this list that you believe should not be covered by the ordinance (i.e. smaller than 50,000 square feet, and/or eligible for an exemption due to non-covered space use, financial distress, low occupancy, or new construction), please submit the corresponding request from the Building Request Form webpage.


Obtain Whole-Building Electricity & Natural Gas Data:

Owners and managers of covered buildings are strongly encouraged to take advantage of aggregated electricity and natural gas data provided by Chicago utilities at no additional charge to covered buildings.




Use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager:

To facilitate building benchmarking, data verification, and reporting, the Chicago Energy Benchmarking ENERGY STAR Portfolio ManagerOrdinance uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online software tool developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).

In addition to free online and in-person training, and other support materials listed above, the US EPA provides free online resources to help buildings get started with energy benchmarking.


Fulfill the Data Verification Requirement:

To ensure that data is being tracked and reported correctly, covered buildings must have their energy and building data reviewed and verified every three years (beginning with the first time a building complies). 

The next year that your property is required to complete data verification will be listed on the most recent Covered Buildings List. It is also listed on the notification letter and email sent by the City in the spring.

The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Verification Checklist, signed by a trained individual whose professional license or training program credential is recognized by the City, serves as proof of data verification.

UPDATED (2021): Data verifier information must be entered into the "Verification" section (under "Details" tab of each building's Portfolio Manager profile, select "Add Verification Information" under "Verification" section), as described in the Compliance Checklist or Benchmarking Guide.

Data verifiers may be in-house building staff members or 3rd party professionals.

The City now recognizes the following data verifier licenses and training program credentials:

Additional data verifier licenses and training program credentials may be recognized by the City and posted to this website.

The City also recognizes buildings that have achieved ENERGY STAR Certification by the US Environmental Protection Agency as fulfilling the data verification requirement, provided that the building's ENERGY STAR certified data include at least six months of the calendar year for which Chicago Energy Benchmarking data verification is required.

Some covered buildings may be eligible for pro-bono data verification through the U.S. Green Building Council's Illinois Chapter, ASHRAE Illinois, AIA-Chicago, and local volunteers.  Please click the following link to apply for pro-bono data verification support.


Find a Benchmarking Service Provider (not required by ordinance):

The Illinois Green Alliance maintains an online directory of companies that offer fee-for-service support for energy benchmarking, data verification, and other efficiency efforts. The Illinois Green Alliance created this directory to help interested buildings find firms that provide benchmarking-related services.

As a reminder, the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance does not require covered buildings to hire outside support.  For additional details, please refer to 'How to Fulfill the Data Verification Requirement' on this page or the Compliance Checklist and Benchmarking Guide.

Note: This directory contains self-reported service provider information.  Buildings should exercise all due diligence when selecting an energy service provider. The City of Chicago does not guarantee the quality or pricing of the work provided by these firms, and the firms listed in the directory do not have any affiliation with the City of Chicago.

Please click here to download the Illinois Green Alliance's Benchmarking Service Provider Directory. (The directory will download as an Excel file).


Submit Building Data to the City:

Once a building has been benchmarked in Portfolio Manager and data has been verified (if required this year), covered buildings must submit their data to the City of Chicago using the current year Chicago Energy Benchmarking Reporting Link. Note that the reporting link does change every year, and the link(s) from previous years will not allow you to comply this year.

After clicking the reporting link, users will be prompted to log into their Portfolio Manager account, which will guide them through several simple reporting steps (including selecting the building(s) on which to report, reviewing the information to be reported, and sharing that information with the City of Chicago).

Please click here to report Chicago Energy Benchmarking Data in 2024.


Additional Instructions for Buildings with Missing Info or Possible Errors (after submitting building data to the City):

Upon reporting Chicago Energy Benchmarking data to the City, some buildings may receive a follow-up email requesting additional action to 1.) provide missing required information in order to come into compliance or 2.) review data for possible errors or inaccuracies.

Please find additional instructions by following the links below:

Questions? We Can Help!

Call the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center at (855) 858-6878 (M-F, 9am-5pm) or email

Return to the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Homepage.

Additional Information



Chicago Energy Benchmarking Home

Instructions & Guidance Materials

Free Training & Building Support

Request Forms (IDs, exemptions, & pro-bono support)

Previous Results, Analysis, & Building Data

Additional Information & Resources



“This ordinance will help to capture the information to enable better informed real estate decisions and unlock the market for energy efficiency.  We believe that this ordinance addresses key business and policy priorities in our sector, including saving money, creating local jobs, protecting our health, and promot[ing] Chicago’s position as a leading sustainable city to attract new business and succeed in the global market place.”

– Commercial and Residential Real Estate Management Executive


“Energy efficiency is not a passing fad; it has become a core value and operating principle for many of Chicago’s largest corporate tenants, condo owners, and residential tenants.”

– Commercial and Residential Real Estate Manager


“Energy [benchmarking and] disclosure [across our management portfolio of more than 1,000 buildings] has helped [condominium] board members feel comfortable making decisions to improve efficiency because they have more accurate data on which to base their decision. They are also able to better quantify the investment and return they will generate. We have found that the more informed owners are about their building’s environmental impact, the more empowered they are to improve it.”

– Residential Portfolio Director of Operations


I Want To