Chicago Energy Rating

Chicago Energy Rating System

The goal of the Chicago Energy Rating System (implemented in 2019) is to improve the visibility and transparency of the information reported under the existing Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance (adopted in 2013). The Energy Benchmarking Ordinance requires large buildings (those 50,000 square feet or greater) to report energy use to the City once per year. The Chicago Energy Rating System updates use the reported information to make energy performance more visible and easier to understand.

Download and Print Your 2023 (2022 Reported Data) Placard Here:

  • You will need to enter your 6-digit Chicago Energy Benchmarking ID to download your Chicago Energy Rating Placard.
  • You must print it in color on 11 x 17 size paper. 
  • If you need to find your Chicago Energy Benchmarking ID, check our list of covered buildings here.

Additional Resources:

  • Webinar The City held a webinar in fall 2019 to provide more details about the Chicago Energy Rating System. The webinar slides are online here and you can view a video of the webinar here: Webinar Video
  • Summary: Overview of the Chicago Energy Rating System and its benefits
  • FAQ: Frequently asked questions & answers.
  • Full ordinance: The ordinance authorizing the Rating System
  • Rules and regulations: Rules for how the Rating System is implemented

Overview and Timeline

The Chicago Energy Rating system started 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). Ratings are assigned and then provided on a Chicago Energy Rating Placard, which is mailed to each building. The Placard must be posted in a prominent location and shared at the time the property is listed for sale or lease.


  • Annual Ratings: Ratings are assigned annually after the June 1st reporting deadline. The next round of placards will be mailed this upcoming fall.

How Ratings Are Assigned

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 required energy information will receive zero out of four stars. Any property that improves can earn an additional star, although improvements are not required by the City. Scroll down to read more details.

How to Improve Your Chicago Energy Rating

The City of Chicago does not require building owners to make improvements or to reach a certain energy rating, but highly encourages such activity. There are many low- or no-cost opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Click here for a short checklist on how to start improving energy efficiency at your building.

What Building Owners Need to Do

1. Ensure you are in compliance with energy benchmarking: Building owners should ensure they are in full compliance with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance by June 1st every year.

  • Any building owner out of compliance will receive zero out of four stars in the new Chicago Energy Rating System.
  • Detailed instructions on how to comply are found online at:
  • A free Help Center is also available at (855) 858-6878 (M-F, 9am-5pm) or by email to:

2. Make sure you receive a Chicago Energy Rating Placard: Building owners will receive their Chicago Energy Rating Placard by mail on an annual basis. All Placards will be mailed by the end of fall.

  • If you do not receive your Placard in the mail, you will be able to download a version from this website - check back in early-November for the downloading instructions.

3. Post the Chicago Energy Rating Placard and share at time of listing for sale or lease:

  • Building owners are required to post their Chicago Energy Rating Placard in a prominent location upon receiving.
  • Building owners are also be required to share the Placard or their rating at time of listing for lease or sale. 

What the Placards Look Like

The rating placard is shown below. The placards will be 11 inches by 17 inches and printed on a thick piece of paper with an adhesive backing that can be attached to a wall or window. Alternatively, users can frame and hang it up or use their own adhesive to attach it to a prominent location at the building.



More Details on How Ratings Are Assigned

Approximately 85% of properties that report their data to the City of Chicago receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score from the energy benchmarking software, known as Portfolio Manager. Properties in compliance with benchmarking reporting will receive between one and four stars on a four-star rating system, based on their 1-100 ENERGY STAR score. Properties with one, two, or three stars will be able to earn an additional star if they have improved by at least 10 points in the past two reporting years. Properties that are not eligible to receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score (approximately fifteen percent of reporting properties) will receive a rating based on energy use per square foot in comparison to national medians for properties of a similar size and type. 

For properties that receive an ENERGY STAR score, the initial ratings will be based on the following scale:

Chicago Energy Rating System Scoring

Approximately 15% of the buildings that currently are in compliance with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance are not able to receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score. For properties that are not able to receive an ENERGY STAR score, the Chicago Energy Rating will be based on the building's source energy use intensity (EUI), which is energy use per square foot, in comparison to national medians for buildings of the same property type. The lower the percentile for Source EUI, the better, as a lower EUI indicates less energy use per square foot. The scale is based on the following scale:

  • 1st to 25th percentile for Source EUI: 4 stars
  • 25th to 50th percentile for Source EUI: 3 stars
  • 50th to 75th percentile for Source EUI: 2 stars
  • Above the 75th percentile for Source EUI: 1 star
  • Any building with 1, 2, or 3 stars with a 10% improvement in the past 2 years earns an extra star

Why Might You Not Receive a Rating?

Properties that report their energy use by the annual deadline might still receive a zero star rating. In some cases, this is due to a property that is ineligible to receive an ENERGY STAR score due to property use type or makeup of the building's gross floor area and fail to include the required metrics to calculate Source EUI.


Contact the City's Help Center at: at (855) 858-6878 (M-F, 9am-5pm) or by email to:

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