Chicago Energy Rating

Chicago Energy Rating System

On November 21st, 2017, the Chicago City Council approved updates to the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance in order to improve the visibility and transparency of the reported information, while also making the information easier to understand. A summary of the changes and some of the benefits are provided in this summary, and this FAQ document provides answers to frequently asked questions. The full ordinance adopted in 2017 can be downloaded here and the ordinance rules and regulations are here.


In summary, the updates will create a new Chicago Energy Rating system starting 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). The first ratings will be assigned after energy benchmarking reports are due on June 1, 2019, likely by August 1, 2019. Once the first ratings are assigned in 2019, building owners will receive an initial six-month grace period, and then will be required to post their Chicago Energy Rating Placard after the end of this initial grace period. Property owners may voluntarily choose to post their Placards during this initial six-month grace period. 

How Ratings are Assigned

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 (between ten and 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. Properties that have not submitted energy benchmarking information will receive zero out of four stars.

The initial ratings will be based on the following scale:

Chicago Energy Rating System Scoring

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 1, 2019. 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:

2. Make sure you receive a Chicago Energy Rating Placard: Starting in summer 2019, building owners will receive their Chicago Energy Rating Placard by mail, and will also be able to go online to download and print their Placard. 

3. Post the Chicago Energy Rating Placard and share at time of listing for sale or lease after the initial grace period: The first ratings will be assigned and provided in summer 2019. For 2019 only, buildng owners will have a six-month grace period. Once this grace period ends, building owners will be required to post their Chicago Energy Rating Placard in a prominent location. Building owners will also be required to share the Placard at time of listing for lease or sale after the grace period ends. 

A draft mock-up of the rating placard is provided below. 


DRAFT Mock-up of the new Chicago Energy Rating. Stars will be assigned based on the property's 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score (or in some cases, by energy use per square foot).

 Supporting Information Facts

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