Large buildings throughout Chicago are getting more efficient, trimming energy costs and reducing emissions, according to recently released data from the city. Between 2014 and 2015, about 1,000 buildings cut their weather-adjusted energy use by 1.9 percent for a cost savings of $6.2 million per year, and they reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 189,550 tons, according to the 2016 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report released in January. These properties also mostly saw an increase in their Energy Star score, a metric developed by the Environmental Protection Agency to rate buildings’ energy efficiency compared to others of similar type and purpose. On a scale of 1 to 100 — with 100 being the most efficient — Chicago properties reporting across two years earned a median score of 51 in 2014. One year later, that median score rose to 55.  Efficiency improvements are planned, underway or completed in over 23,000 homes and 132 large buildings as part of the City’s Retrofit Chicago initiative, in which buildings commit to reduce energy use by at least 20 percent within five years of joining the program. Five of the 10 most-improved buildings between 2014 and 2015 were Chicago Public School facilities. The Little Village Lawndale High School Campus improved its Energy Star score by 31 points — the most of any property with publicly available data in both 2014 and 2015.

– via Midwest Energy News / David Unger


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