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CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 04: Part of the Chicago skyline is seen as Obama supporters gather in Grant Park during an election night gathering on November 4, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. After nearly two years of presidential campaigning, U.S. citizens went to the polls today to vote in the election between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Windy City Building Energy Efficiency

Urban effort lead world drive to slash electric use

Chicago has identified up to $184 million in annual energy savings possible through increased efficiency strategies at 1,800 properties across 77 neighborhoods.

The 2016 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report coming out in late November will double the number of city properties surveyed to 3,600 and update the possible gains from smarter energy use tactics.

Christopher Wheat, portrait

Christopher Wheat

Christopher Wheat, Chicago’s chief sustainability officer, will be reporting on the energy benchmarking effort – and how it compares with other similar efforts globally - at the Empowering Customers & Cities conference in Chicago November 1-2.

The 2015 benchmarking exercise involved 1,800 commercial, industrial and residential properties totaling 614 million square feet. The properties are believed to be responsible for one-fifth of the Windy City’s $3 billion annual building energy use.

Energy costs soak up about one-third of buildings’ operating costs.

Shaving 13 to 24 percent off of the 1,800 buildings’ energy consumption would result in a savings of from $100 million to $184 million a year, according to the city.


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