City staff to allow public input on energy and water benchmarking ordinance

Rishika Dugyala, Assistant Summer Editor

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City staff will be hosting three drop-in open comment sessions beginning Tuesday so the public can provide input on a draft of an ordinance about energy and water benchmarking before it is introduced to City Council.

Evanston launched a period of public comment, allowing community stakeholders to provide feedback between June 21 and July 15 by either attending the comment sessions or submitting a comment form, according to a city news release.

The draft ordinance, Building Energy and Water Use Benchmarking, was championed by the city’s Utilities Commission, Environment Board and Citizens’ Greener Evanston, a nonprofit environmental organization. The draft was also developed with the help of dozens of community stakeholders and other communities with similar ordinances, according to the news release.

Energy and water benchmarking tracks energy and water consumed over time by an existing building and compares the results to similar buildings or an applicable standard. According to the news release, this benchmarking will specifically help the city evaluate the energy and water usage of existing mid-sized and large buildings.

Building owners will not need to make any changes to their structures’ energy or water performance, although the owners are required to report their findings. Evanston will compile and post a list of the benchmarked buildings’ reports in order to gauge the city’s progress toward its stated greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, according to the news release.

Twitter: @rdugyala822