The City of Evanston invites owners, managers and representatives of large buildings in Evanston (20,000-square-feet and above) to any of three public meetings on the proposed energy and water benchmarking ordinance. The ordinance is scheduled for a final vote by the Evanston City Council on Monday, November 28, 2016.

The draft ordinance, which can be found at benchmarking, was developed with leadership from the Evanston Utilities Commission and input from dozens of community stakeholders over the course of six public meetings and through consultation with other communities with similar ordinances. The City has also developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that can be found on the above-mentioned benchmarking web page.

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 proposed energy and water benchmarking ordinance will require property owners of affected buildings to aggregate and report their building’s energy and water usage annually through a free online software program, Portfolio Manager, administered by the EPA. 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.

The City has scheduled opportunities for affected property owners/representatives to learn if and how their building(s) will be impacted by the ordinance. The meeting will also help property owners/representatives better understand the proposed ordinance. Those unable to make it to a meeting may submit their comments via a form (see below). The City will accept comments and questions on the ordinance until Friday, November 11, 2016.

Property owners/representatives are invited to:

The link to the comment form is available at Comments from the submitted forms will be reviewed after the public comment period ends on November 11.

  • Attend an Ordinance Information Open Session

City staff will host three drop-in sessions as follows:

* Wednesday, October 26, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Room G300, Morton Civic Center (ground floor)
* Thursday, November 3, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Room 2404, Morton Civic Center (second floor)
* Tuesday, November 8, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Room 2402, Morton Civic Center (second floor)

The Morton Civic Center is located at 2100 Ridge Avenue, a roughly seven-minute walk west of either the Noyes or Foster CTA Purple Line stations. Free public parking is available in the rear of the building.

The Utilities Commission is a formal City commission comprised of Evanston community members with experience and knowledge of the utility, engineering and finance industries. The Utilities Commission is co-chairing this initiative in collaboration with the Environment Board and Citizens’ Greener Evanston.

For more information, please contact City of Evanston Environmental Project Coordinator Kumar Jensen at 847-448-8199 or