The Village Board recently adopted an energy and water benchmarking ordinance to assist owners and managers of large commercial buildings in better understanding and improving their building’s performance.
Benchmarking entails measuring a building’s energy and water use and comparing it to the use of similar buildings, its own historical output or a reference performance level.
The energy used by commercial buildings in Oak Park is estimated to create one-third of the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and lead to climate change.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that buildings that practice benchmarking achieve an average annual energy savings of 2.4%.
The Village is working closely with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) to collect data and offer workshops for building owners and managers to receive hands-on training and support for data collection.
The ordinance and the practice of reducing building energy use is a critical step that the Village can take to address climate change and reach the community’s Climate Ready Oak Park goals.
More information is at www.engageoakpark.com/building-benchmarking.