Retrofit Chicago is Building Energy Efficiency

Retrofit Chicago is a voluntary program that encourages and promotes energy efficiency in buildings. The program includes all building types—from small residential properties (single-family homes and small multifamily buildings) to larger properties such as offices, hotels, college buildings, large multifamily buildings, nonprofit office space, and houses of worship. Under Retrofit Chicago, the city is also improving the efficiency of its own buildings and has reduced energy use by approximately 18% across 60 city-owned properties. The portion of the program addressing larger buildings has also achieved approximately 18% energy reduction in 88 participating buildings, spanning over 56 million square feet of space.

Building on the success of this program, as well as the city’s mandatory energy benchmarking requirement—which establishes a common reporting standard on energy efficiency data—for large properties, Chicago will begin assigning a building energy rating of between zero and four stars to all properties over 50,000 square feet, starting in 2019. Property owners will be required to post their ratings in a prominent location and to share it at the time of listing for sale or lease. The new Chicago Energy Rating System is expected to increase the transparency and simplicity of energy information reported under the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance.

"While the Trump administration continues to deny the reality that environmental and economic interests go hand in hand, America’s Pledge is helping to unite local leaders who believe in clean air, clean water, and preserving our natural resources for future generations. In Chicago, we will continue to invest in sustainability initiatives that improve our environment, support 21st century jobs and lead us on the path to eventually powering all of Chicago with 100% clean energy."


Rahm Emanuel,
Mayor of Chicago