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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, which can be found at cityofevanston.org/benchmarking, 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.

The period of public comment will be open through July 15. There are two primary ways for community stakeholders to provide feedback on the ordinance:

• Submit the Benchmarking Public Comment Form. Comments from the submitted forms will be reviewed once the public comment period has ended on July 15. The comment form is available at cityofevanston.org/benchmarking.

• Attend a Public Comment Open Session: 8-11 a.m. on July 6 and noon-3 p.m. on July 7, both in Room 2404 of the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

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.