State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Chicago, IL

114.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 11.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Former Mayor Emanuel’s 2017 Executive Order commits the City of Chicago to the goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025 in line with the Paris Accord. ACEEE projects that the city will meet its community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

The city has released greenhouse gas inventories for the years 2005, 2010, 2015.

Energy Efficiency Goal

The 2022 Climate Action Plan includes electrification goals for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.  

Renewable Energy Goal

Resilient Chicago, the city’s resilience strategy, includes a goal to transition to 100% renewable energy in buildings across the city by 2035.

Last updated: August 2023

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equity Accountability Measures

The Resilient Chicago plan includes specific goals and indicators to improve transit service to underserved areas and install efficient lighting in low-income communities.

Last updated: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

Chicago issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) to install solar farms on seven lots owned by the city. Some of these systems will offer community solar subscriptions.

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

Chicago’s Sustainable Development Policy requires new construction projects to integrate low impact development measures or restore natural lands. The city's policy also provides expedited green permits for construction involving a green roof, rainwater harvesting, or a similar measure. The Chicago Energy Efficiency Conservation Code requires new low-sloped roofs to have a minimum 3-year reflectance of 0.5 and medium sloped roofs to have a reflectance of 0.15. Chicago has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Resilience Hubs

We were unable to determine if the city has supported the creation of resilience hubs that incorporate clean energy resources and are sited in disadvantaged communities.

Last updated: August 2023

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Workforce development for disadvantaged workers

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from disadvantaged communities to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Workforce development for the broader community

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from the broader community to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Outcomes tracking

We could not determine if the city has instituted a mechanism to measure the performance and/or success of equitable workforce development initiatives focused on the clean energy sector.

Last updated: August 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 36.5 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Illinois allows local jurisdictions to adopt energy codes more stringent than the state’s. The 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code is based on the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and includes additional energy efficiency and electrification-ready provisions. To learn more about building energy codes in Illinois, please visit the State Policy Database.


Chicago complies with the 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code for all commercial buildings. The city’s zEPI score for its commercial energy code is 49.50.


The city complies with the 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code for all residential buildings. The city’s zEPI score for its residential energy code is 51.00.  

Solar-readiness policies

Chicago adopted solar-readiness requirements for specific commercial buildings in the Energy Transformation Code. The city allows solar energy use in all zones. 

EV-charging readiness policies

In 2019, Chicago adopted an ordinance that requires new commercial and multifamily buildings to be EV-ready. In 2020, the city strengthened the requirements

Low-energy use requirements

The Chicago Sustainable Development Policy requires municipal buildings to be constructed to LEED Silver standards. It also requires development projects that are receiving financial assistance or special approvals from the City to include sustainable elements. Developers must select the elements from a sustainable strategies menu. New construction must achieve 100 points and renovations must achieve 25 to 50 points. The policy applies to any commercial or multifamily project that receives city assistance, requires a zoning change, or requires any other special approval (typically most large private development projects). 


Chicago is in the process of developing a variety of building decarbonization policies, including a new construction fossil fuel phaseout and a building performance standard.

Last updated: August 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

We were unable to determine the amount of staff effort dedicated to energy code enforcement. Currently, the city requires all permit applicants to have their plans reviewed by an Illinois-licensed architect or engineer and submit an energy compliance statement. For several types of work and methods of compliance, the energy conservation requirements include commissioning and post-construction testing to verify building performance. The city provides free technical support and training on the energy code through the University of Illinois’s Smart Energy Design Assistance Center.

Last updated: August 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and publicly disclose the information. Owners must provide reports annually and have a trained professional verify their data every three years. The city discloses buildings-specific data to the public on its website. The city adopted the ordinance in September 2013 and it became effective in June 2014.

Chicago offers training and guidance to building owners through a help center hotline. Chicago also worked with local utilities to simplify the data collection process by ensuring owners have access to whole-building energy use data for buildings. The Ordinance currently covers 73% of commercial buildings and 67% of multifamily buildings within the city.

Single-family energy disclosure    

Section 5-16-050 of the Chicago Municipal Code requires residential building owners to disclose a building's natural gas and electricity costs for the previous 12 months at the time of sale. 

Rental energy disclosure

Chicago requires building owners to disclose the cost of heating from the previous 12 months to prospective tenants. 

Other requirements

The Chicago Benchmarking Energy Ordinance created the Chicago Energy Rating System. The system assigns all buildings over 50,000 square feet an energy performance rating, which will be required to be posted in a prominent location and shared at the time of listing the property for sale or lease. It went into effect in 2019. 


The Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership offers rebates for energy-efficient appliances to residential buildings with no more than four units.

The Tax-Increment Financing Neighborhood Improvement Program offers grants to residential buildings of one to four units for efficiency improvements including air sealing, roof insulation, and boiler or furnace upgrades.

The city offers access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to commercial, institutional, and residential building owners energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy infrastructure.

The Climate Infrastructure Fund provides competitive funding for energy efficiency, electrification, and onsite renewable energy projects.

The Small Business Improvement Fund provides grants for building improvements, including energy efficiency measures such as HVAC upgrades.

The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund provides grants supporting building rehabilitation in commercial corridors in underserved neighborhoods. 

Equitable program outcomes

The Department of Planning collects relevant information on the allocation of grants and incentives for related projects. 

Last updated: August 2023

Score: 27.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The Chicago Strategic Plan for Transportation was released in 2021 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. It also includes strategies specifically benefitting disadvantaged communities. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The city's Climate Action Plan, updated in 2022, contains a goal of reducing emissions from passenger transportation by 6% and reducing emissions from freight transportation by 3% by 2040. The city’s target requires a .68% average per-capita annual decrease from its target baseline. Therefore, Chicago did not earn points for the stringency of its target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Chicago did not provide emissions data collected since the adoption of its goal; therefore, we cannot assess progress toward the goal.

Last Updated: September 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Chicago has made changes to its zoning code in the past 10 years to facilitate more residential density, mixed-use development, or transit-oriented development.

Parking Requirement

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Chicago has at least one zone, neighborhood, or district with a parking maximum of 1 or fewer spaces per housing unit or no minimum parking requirement for residential uses.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Chicago offers reductions in minimum lot area required, height bonuses, reductions in minimum parking required, and increases in floor area for transit-oriented developments.

Affordable Housing around Transit

The city incentivizes affordable housing near transit by exempting these developments from minimum parking requirements and prioritizing these developments when administering Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

According to the Chicago Climate Action Plan, the City has a goal of 45% of all trips being made by walking, biking, shared micromobility, or transit by 2040.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of Chicago did not provide data collected on mode share since the adoption of its goal; therefore, we cannot assess progress toward the goal.

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

Divvy, the city's primary shared micromobility operator, offers discounted memberships to low-income individuals participating in certain assistance programs through the Divvy for Everyone Program. Memberships provide unlimited 45-minute rides on bikes, reduced rates for e-bikes and scooters, and more.

Last Updated: September 2023
Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Chicago have received $1,174,703,252.20 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $366.22 per capita between 2017 and 2021 within the service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The AllTransit Performance Score measures a given community's transit access and performance. The score considers connections to other routes, access to jobs, service frequency, and the percent of commuters who ride transit to work. The City of Chicago's AllTransit Performance Score is 9.1, scoring the full 4 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither the City of Chicago nor the local utility provide incentives for purchasing efficient vehicles.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Neither the City of Chicago nor the local utility provide incentives for the installation of EV charging stations.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Chicago does not require new developments to install EV charging stations.

EV Charging Ports

The City of Chicago has 24.1 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use.

Electric School Bus Goal

Neither the City of Chicago nor the local school district have set an electric school bus goal.

Electric Transit Bus Goal

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to electric buses by 2040. CTA plans to prioritize routes serving low-income communities, communities of color, and communities with high air pollution burden as it transitions to electric buses.

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

Chicago does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan. However, the city is pursuing multiple sustainable freight strategies, including curbside management and promoting rail efficiency through the CREATE program.

Open Data Portals

The City of Chicago does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data.

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 25.5 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All


Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), an investor-owned utility (IOU) is the primary electric service provider for the City of Chicago. Peoples Gas, an IOU, is Chicago’s primary natural gas supplier. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Illinois page of the State Database.

The Chicago Department of Water Management is the municipal utility that provides Chicago with drinking water services and stormwater management. The utilities partner to run some efficiency programs, as well as run some independently. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is the regional wastewater treatment utility and also coordinates stormwater management in Cook County.

Last Updated: August 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, ComEd reported 1,849,877 MWh in net incremental electric energy savings.In 2021, Peoples Gas reported savings of 11.095 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs.

ComEd offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. Peoples Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

The city promotes energy efficiency programs and other rebate and incentives under Retrofit Chicago and the Smart Grid Program in partnership with ComEd and Peoples Gas. Retrofit Chicago is marketed by city staff and non-profit partners through neighborhood outreach and engagement including community workshops, educational materials, and online resources. The Smart Grid Program is coordinating citywide outreach on smart meters and energy efficiency by visiting community service centers, community events, and holding workshops at Chicago Public Libraries, senior centers, and other locations to share information. Natural gas programs also fall under Retrofit Chicago and are promoted in conjunction with electric utility incentives, engaging with both residential and commercial customers. Peoples Gas is an ongoing sponsor as noted on the Retrofit Chicago website.

Last Updated: August 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

ComEd offers multiple low-income programs, including Single-Family Retrofits, Multi-Family Retrofits, Affordable Housing New Construction, Public Housing Authority Program, Food Bank LED Distribution, Income Eligible Lighting Discounts, Income Eligible Energy Savings Kits, and Existing Manufactured Homes Retrofits. ComEd’s 2019 evaluation includes more details on each program’s design and measures served. More information about each program can be found on ComEd’s website for income-eligible program. Both the single and multifamily retrofit programs braid costs between utility funds and funds provided by the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) to address both energy efficiency and health and safety measures.

ComEd partners with local community groups, including nonprofits, food banks, religious organizations, and for-profit groups to implement their low-income programs. ComEd coordinates program delivery with the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program. For programs coordinated with WAP, health and safety costs are split 50-50 between state and utility programs. For projects in partnership with Chicago Bungalow Associate and Elevate Energy, as well as the Public Housing Program, the utilities cover 100% of the necessary health and safety costs. Additionally, projects completed under the Affordable Housing New Construction Program typically leverage Illinois Housing Development Authority funding for health and safety measures.

Peoples Gas runs numerous Income-Eligible programs in five program categories: 1) Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP), 2) Single-Family Income Eligible Program, 3) Multi-Family Income Eligible Program, 4) Affordable Housing New Construction, and 5) Multi-Family Public Housing Authority (PHA) Program. Peoples Gas leverages funds from the federally funded Weatherization Assistance program and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Income eligible programs offer health and safety measures, including installation of vents, power venting combustion appliances, electrical repairs, asbestos and mold remediation.

For the Single-Family Income-Eligible (SFIE) Program, Peoples Gas partners with the Chicago Bungalow Association (CBA) for outreach and customer intake support. Within the Income-Eligible Multi-Family (IEMF) Program, Peoples Gas partnered with Elevate Energy for outreach and implementation support. With the Illinois Housing Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) program, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas partners with non-profit Community Action Agencies within Cook County and Lake County. 

In 2021, ComEd achieved 303,419 MWh of energy savings, while spending $34,201,923 while serving 96,133 customers in its’ low-income programs. In 2021, we were unable to verify low-income energy efficiency program spending, savings, and customers for Peoples Gas.

The City is in the process of expanding its Roof and Porch Emergency Repair program to include new measures available to income-eligible homeowners. The new Repair Program will explore ways for the City to reduce utility costs, provide greater comfort for homeowners, ensure a more sustainable and resilient housing stock, and align with the City's climate goals.

Multifamily Programs

ComEd offers the Multifamily Market-Rate Program. The program provides energy assessments and installation of various energy-saving measures, including LEDs, water-saving devices, programmable thermostats, and pipe insulation. ComEd also offers the Income Eligible Retrofits Multi-Family Program, which provides direct installation of energy efficiency measures and replacement of inefficient equipment as well as educational information to further save money on energy bills. Eligible measures include LEDs and energy efficient lighting retrofits, programmable thermostats, advanced power strips, water efficiency devices, weatherization measures, pipe insulation, and heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment. The program is implemented by Resource Innovations (RI) and leverages the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP). The program provides retrofits in both common areas (CA) and tenant spaces and serves as a “one stop shop” for multi-family building owners and managers whose buildings are targeted to income eligible residents.

Peoples Gas also offers the Multi-Family Program. This comprehensive program offers free energy assessments for multifamily building owners and no-cost direct install of high efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, pipe insulation and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Rebates for additional energy-saving equipment are also available. This comprehensive program is jointly delivered with ComEd and offers free energy assessments for multi-family building owners and no-cost direct installation of high efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, pipe insulation and high-efficiency lighting. Rebates for additional energy-saving equipment are also available. Peoples Gas also offers the Multi-Family Income Eligible Program, which includes prescriptive gas rebates, energy assessments, and direct-install at income-qualified multi-family buildings.

In 2021, ComEd achieved 33,470 MWh of savings from its multifamily programs, while serving 20,972 housing units and 1,167 properties. In 2021, we were unable to verify multifamily program spending, savings, and customers for Peoples Gas.

Last Updated: August 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

ComEd provides automated benchmarking services to building owners. ComEd's Energy Usage Data Tool provides monthly aggregate electric data to buildings with four or more tenants. Buildings covered under the Chicago Benchmarking Ordinance can comply with the ordinance by using data provided by the tool. Peoples Gas provides data upon request that can be uploaded into Portfolio Manager, but it is not an automated service.

ComEd and Peoples Gas provide energy usage data to the city who uses the data in their planning processes. The city’s greenhouse gas inventory includes community-wide energy data. The city has released greenhouse gas inventories for the years 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2017 (released in 2020).

The City of Chicago continues to advocate for polices that require their utilities to expand the availability and granularity of energy usage data. The city also regularly works with utilities to ensure their data access tools are operating as intended. If the City receives any complaints or hears of issues through its Energy Benchmarking Help Center or other resources, the City works with the utilities to address the issues until they are resolved.

Last Updated: August 2023

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2018, Exelon, the parent company of ComEd, announced a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its internal operations by 15% by 2022 from a 2015 baseline. To achieve this goal, Exelon will need to reduce emissions by 4.2% annually from 2018 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

Under Mayor Lor Lightfoot’s leadership, the City is working to move forward equitable, affordable, and resilient clean energy for the city through its choice and negotiations with its electricity delivery franchise authority. The City anticipates moving to the next stage of its franchising process in late 2021. That stage of the process will include an energy and equity agreement that establishes environmental and consumer objectives for the city, which includes climate and energy clean targets.

In February 2021, the City of Chicago submitted public comments in support for amending the Illinois Commerce Commission’s interconnection rules to support community solar project and distributed generation and energy storage systems. The city requested that the Commission center decisions around cost-mitigation for Black, Latinx, and low-income communities, transparency in grid planning, and flexibility for the future.

In 2019, Mayor Lori Lightfoot endorsed the proposed Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), which would continue to strengthen renewable energy goals statewide, calling on the governor and state legislature to pass this bill. As of June 2021, CEJA was still in the legislative process.

Chicago has been a key partner in ComEd's Community of the Future program, targeting the Bronzeville area of Chicago. The project includes a microgrid, and several pilots and programs to create a smarter and more connected community. As part of the microgrid, the City, the Chicago Housing Authority, and ComEd partnered to add 700 kW of solar panels on a public housing facility called Dearborn Homes.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

Chicago issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) to install solar farms on seven lots owned by the city. Some of these systems will offer community solar subscriptions. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

Chicago has installed about 800 kW of solar capacity on city facilities. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

The city offers access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to commercial, institutional, and residential building owners energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy infrastructure. 

The Climate Infrastructure Fund provides competitive funding for energy efficiency, electrification, and onsite renewable energy projects. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Although Chicago’s water and energy utilities do not run joint water and energy efficiency programs, Chicago’s city-run MeterSave program provides significant incentives to the community. Through the MeterSave program, the city’s Department of Water Management (DWM) supplies a free water meter to unmetered residents and business customers and guarantees bills will be lower than the estimated rate for 7 years post installation. The City of Chicago also offers rain barrels and indoor or outdoor conservation kits to homeowners. In addition, both energy utilities offer water efficiency measures in their energy efficiency programs. For example, the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program includes measures such as low flow aerators, low flow showerheads, pre-rinse spray valves, clothes washers, and dishwashers. Peoples Gas also provides showerheads, faucet aerators, and pre rinse sprayers free of charge to commercial and residential customers via gas utility-only direct install programs (DI), kits programs (low income, non low income, and small business kits programs) and weatherization programs, as well as through electric and gas utility jointly offered low income weatherization programs.

The City of Chicago has a goal to decrease water use by 2% annually, according to the Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan. The City of Chicago also has a program to aggressively replace old water mains, thus reducing water loss from leaking pipes. Through Building a New Chicago, DWM is replacing 900 miles of water main—most of which are over 100 years old—over a 10-year period. DWM has now installed more than 135,000 meters on homes since 2001. By City ordinance, commercial buildings are required to install their own during construction. The City has now replaced over 550 miles of water main under its current capital program and will meet its goal of replacing 900 miles by 2021.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

Both the Department of Water Management (DWM) and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) have extensive programs to increase energy efficiency across operations and are pursuing energy efficiency initiatives. DWM is converting several steam-powered turbines and boilers at five pumping stations in the water distribution system to electricity, saving more than $6.4 million/year in energy costs, with additional savings from lower operating costs, and a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 75%. The conversion of the pumping stations from steam to electricity are part of the “Building a New Chicago” program. The Springfield Pumping Station was fully converted from steam to electricity in 2017. The energy efficient station has reduced its carbon footprint and will save an estimated $4M annually with improved reliability and efficiency. The Central Park Pumping Station began construction in Dec 2018 for a similar conversion. The department estimates an annual savings of $4.5M in energy and maintenance expenses.

MWRD has also implemented a sewer thermal heat and cooling system to save energy at its water reclamation plant, where methane is also collected for electricity generation. Moreover, the MWRD operates several anaerobic digesters, generating up to one-third of its energy from the digestion process. A new project will divert 440 tons a day of food waste from the city of Chicago’s solid waste stream, feed it into the digesters at the Calumet treatment plant in Chicago, generate 160% more methane gas, and sell some of this gas back into the natural gas pipeline.

Last Updated: August 2023

Local Government Score:
13.5 out of 25 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Chicago’s sustainability goals derive mostly from mayoral executive orders. Previously, the city released the Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan to guide municipal climate and energy action.

Climate Mitigation Goal

Executive Order No. 2017-1 committed the entire city to greenhouse gas emission reductions consistent with the Paris Accord. The commitment would achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of 26% to 28% below a 2005 baseline. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal, though the Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan includes a goal to improve energy efficiency in municipal buildings by 10%.

Renewable Energy Goal

A 2019 resolution pledged  that City buildings will consume 100% renewable energy by 2035.

Last updated: May 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

According to the 2015 Sustainable Chicago Action Plan, the city aims to reduce municipal fossil fuel consumption by 10%, replace 3% of on-road fleet vehicles with cleaner vehicles annually, and reduce the energy intensity of Chicago Transit Authority rail service by 12% from 2011 levels. Additionally, the City’s Fleet and Facilities Management (2FM) Department has a policy to increase the number of non-CPD (Chicago Police Department) leased light-duty vehicles to 366. This policy has reduced the size of the City’s light-duty fleet; lowered the average age of light-duty vehicles being used by the City; and reduced fuel use and maintenance expenses. This city monitors the use of its public fleet through the Fleet Center System, which incorporates GPS technology to increase public fleet efficiency. Additionally, the City has committed to electrifying 25% of its eligible passenger vehicle fleet by 2023 and has obtained a $15M Federal grant to assist in achieving this goal. As part of the City’s fleet electrification grant, it has federal funds to install 20 DC Fast Chargers and 80 Level 2 chargers at the airports. The Chicago Transit Authority has piloted 2 electric buses and awarded a contract for 20 new electric buses in June 2018. In addition, Chicago has committed to electrifying the entire municipal fleet by 2035, beginning with a $42m investment that procures 180+ EVs and installs 190+ EV chargers. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public Lighting

The City of Chicago owns and operates all of the public outdoor lighting. In early 2022, Chicago completed their Chicago Smart Lighting Streetlight Modernization Program, which updated 85% of Chicago’s outdoor lights to high-efficiency LED lights. The luminaire specification for all LED fixtures included in the Chicago Smart Lighting Program requires dimmable drivers and receptacles for 7-pin light control devices. The combination of a lighting management system and “smart luminaires” is projected to reduce lighting electric consumption by at least 60%.

Inclusive procurements 

Chicago has goals for diverse contracting as it relates to minority businesses, women-owned businesses, veterans and persons with disabilities. The City also has a number of other programs designed to provide incentives or support to disadvantaged communities as it relates to City procurements. The City focused on inclusive procurement opportunities in developing, negotiating and signing a new electricity supply contract which will supply all municipal operations with 100% renewable energy, 70% of which will be sourced from new, in-state solar, starting in 2025. This contract includes workforce development efforts. Chicago released a disparity study for construction contracts in 2021. They also have an Executive Order requiring report on contracting processes. Chicago has re-entry initiatives and a bid incentive program In the Department of Procurement to incentivize hiring and training returning citizens.

Last updated: September 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Chicago benchmarks all buildings over 50,000 square feet under the City’s benchmarking policy. The City publicly discloses data of all private and public buildings with benchmarking requirements.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We were unable to find updated information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy in Chicago.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

Chicago has the Transit Benefit Program, which is an employee benefit program administered by employers. It allows employees to pay for their transit rides using pre-tax dollars and is based on a federal tax law designed to encourage the use of public transit.

Last update: February 2024