Evanston Drafts Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance

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Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 9:46 pm | Updated: 3:21 pm, Wed Jun 22, 2016.

EVANSTON, ILL. -- The city of Evanston Utilities Commission, upon direction from the Evanston City Council, has launched a public comment period to receive input on a draft energy and water benchmarking ordinance.

The draft ordinance was developed with input from dozens of community stakeholders over the course of six public meetings and through the consultation of other communities with similar ordinances. The draft ordinance is not finalized and is posted to provide community members and stakeholders with the opportunity to review and comment on the ordinance before it is introduced to City Council.

Energy and water benchmarking is the process of tracking the energy and water consumed, over time, of an existing building, such as a school, hospital, or office building, and comparing the results to similar buildings or an applicable standard. Other U.S. cities, including Chicago, have implemented benchmarking policies and ordinances.

Energy and water benchmarking ordinances generally require property owners of affected buildings to aggregate and report their building's energy and water usage, but do not require them to make any changes to the building's energy or water performance. Once energy and water usage has been accurately reported, the city would compile a report from each building and post a list of the benchmarked buildings and their performances. Energy and water benchmarking is one way for the city to continue to gauge Evanston’s progress towards its stated greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals as outlined in the city's Livability Plan. Just as the Evanston green building ordinance helps the city evaluate energy usage of new buildings, energy and water benchmarking will help the city evaluate energy and water usage of existing mid-sized and large buildings.

SOURCE: City of Evanston, Illinois

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