Chicago’s Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance calls on existing municipal, commercial, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to track whole-building energy use, report to the City annually, and verify data accuracy every three years. The data verification is required to be completed by an in-house or third-party licensed professional, and MEEA’s BOC credential is one of six credentials recognized by the City of Chicago for data verification.
In 2014, nonresidential buildings over 250,000SF were required to comply, and all six of the city-recognized credentials were used for data verification for these facilities, including the Building Operator Certification (BOC) credential offered by MEEA. A total of 71 unique individuals verified data of 300+ buildings; the BOC credential was held by 8% of the verifiers and those individuals verified 8% of the 2014 reporting buildings.
In 2015, the second phase of the City’s initiative will be implemented. This year all commercial and municipal buildings from 50,000 – 250,000 square feet and residential buildings over 250,000 square feet will be required to benchmark, verify, and report for the first time, greatly increasing the number of buildings reporting under the ordinance. Some of the large 250,000 square feet buildings classified as “residential” under the ordinance have more than 10% of residential occupancy included with other commercial uses. One of these mixed-use buildings, the John Hancock building, has BOC operators employed in it who will be involved with the reporting and verification this year.
MEEA continues to coordinate with partners to provide educational sessions on how BOC graduates and other energy professionals can take advantage of this opportunity and provide benchmarking and data verification services.