The City of Chicago has introduced a mandatory energy disclosure ordinance that will ultimately affect all buildings over 50,000 square feet.

This “Energy Benchmark” ordinance is on the fast track to be heard by the full City Council today, July 24, 2013.  There are a number of concerns as to how this ordinance may impact condominiums and we are asking that you contact your Alderman immediately and ask that this proposal be held until those concerns can be addressed.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CHICAGO ENERGY DISCLOSURE ORDINANCE:

  • It will affect all apartment and condo buildings of 50,000 square feet or more by June of 2016.  All residential buildings of over 250,000 square feet must disclose energy use by 2015.
  • The failure of any tenant or owner to provide information to the landlord or condo will result in a fine of up to $100.00 for the first violation, and an additional fine of $25.00 for each day the violation continues.  While electric bills are readily available from ComEd, you must get your tenants and unit owners to disclose gas usage.
  • For a condo association it is estimated fines could amount to $9,200 per year.
  • Condos will need to have energy usage verified by a licensed professional in the first year and prior to each third benchmarking deadline thereafter – an added cost.
  • Poor energy efficiency scores could stigmatize properties at time of sale and result in lower property values.
  • Condo fees could rise due to additional responsibilities upon associations to report, and could also include the requirement for future retrofitting and upgrades to meet City standards or goals, based on aggregation of these building reports.

It is critical condo owners reach out to their Aldermen to ask for deferred action on this ordinance until all stakeholders have had the opportunity to fully understand its implications on buildings throughout Chicago. This ordinance will be heard on July 24, 2013 and appears likely to pass unless action is taken.