An ordinance that would require owners of large buildings to report their energy usage — which stalled this summer — won approval for introduction by Evanston aldermen this week.

While building owners opposed to the plan had come out in force when aldermen voted to hold it in committee in July, opponents were notably absent Monday night, while environmentalists and businesses that stood to gain more work from programs to cut energy usage showed up to speak in favor of it.

The only substantive change in the ordinance since July was to reduce the penalty provision for non-compliance from a $50 per day fine to a fine of $100 per month.

Among those speaking in support of the ordinance this week was John D’Angelo, vice president of facilities management at Northwestern University. who said benchmarking has helped the school cut its energy usage by 11 percent so far and that the school hopes to increase that to a 20 percent reduction by the year 2020.

He said benchmarking yourself and comparing your performance to that of others is key to successful energy savings.

The revised ordinance will be up for a final vote at the City Council’s Sept. 26 meeting.

Related stories

Council benches benchmarking ordinance (7/26/16)

City to make big building owners report energy use (6/22/16)

Plan would force building owners to report energy usage (3/17/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. I don’t own a large building
    but I can see the future when the city requires all property owners to comply and brain wash their children to ensure that their parents don’t cheat. It is time for Evanston to start keeping their nose out of private property owner’s business.

    Like the last 7+ years in Washington, make life more expensive for the citizens, while eliminating the right to privacy.

  2. Require others to report their usage, too

    Require city council, city manager, and mayor to report their private usage, too.  Be a nuisance on yourselves just as you hope to be on us.  And why does someone at NU have a voice?  Have they started paying city taxes?  Or is this a special deal Tisdahl has made with the NU pres so she can have more 50-yard line tickets to NU games?

    1. Hmmmm…

      Because we have one planet and we don't need people like you leaving all the lights on, all the faucets open, all the gas burners on, and the air conditioning on all day with the windows open, resulting in unnecessary at the power plants and choking our planet to death. Do you think energy consumption, usage, and waste begins and ends at your building? Take the blinders off and think about someone other than yourself for a change.

      1. Can I turn my lights on now?

        We'll all be better off when the government can tell us how long we can leave our lights on.

      2. Calm down

        You sound like a person who is out of control and needs to see a doctor who will prescribe a medication to reduce your stress. I don't think you are a danger to anyone but yourself. In life, you will encounter many people that do not agree with you and you need to handle situations. Please, take better care of your health.

  3. Just more government bureaucracy
    So what will the city do with all of this data? Will more government union employees be hired to process all of this new data? What will the city do with the data? With they target and fine buildings they consider overusing energy?

    The utilities refuse to give up the information, which would be easy for everyone. If utilities won’t comply with the city why do businesses have to comply?

    The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help – Ronald Reagan.

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