Chicago to Use Data to Improve Building Efficiency

Since beginning its energy benchmarking program in 2013, the city of Chicago has saved over $17 million on energy costs. Almost 2,700 properties are now tracking and reporting their energy use through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager; with these baseline interpretations in place, the city can take their energy efficiency goals to the next level.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is partnering with Chicago utility ComEd to launch the Smart Building Operations Pilot. This program will use real-time energy data to encourage management teams to make energy-efficient choices each day. According to an EDF report:

"The Smart Building Operations Pilot will [...] find out whether the combination of information, interpretation, and motivation results in large building operators consistently making smarter energy choices:
  1. Information: The building will collect and display energy-use data in real time (or near‐real time), providing direct feedback to a building operator on the energy impact of their actions.
  2. Interpretation: The building will calculate an energy-use baseline, against which performance will be tracked every half hour, daily, and monthly. To raise awareness, building operators will receive alerts when energy use exceeds or is expected to exceed the baseline.
  3. Motivation: The program will provide an achievable and meaningful incentive to improve. ComEd will provide up to $5000 up-front to cover hard costs and $0.05 for each kilowatt hour saved compared to the building’s baseline.
This three-pronged approach will empower participants to know how their decisions are affecting energy use in real‐time and easily track those impacts, while providing financial rewards for hitting and exceeding targets."

Energy Hippo software integrates with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and can help you achieve your energy savings goals. Contact to learn more.