Cook County, IL

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Challenge Commitment
15.6Million Square Feet
Goals Progress
20%Reduction in Energy Intensity11%Cumulative (vs. Baseline)

Cook County is an urban county in the upper northeastern section of the State of Illinois with a population of approximately 5.3 million people. It is the second most populous county in the nation and the 19th largest government in the United States (2005 census statistics).  The county contains approximately 130 municipalities, including the City of Chicago, across 946 square miles. The county employs nearly 22,000 full- and part-time staff members.

Cook County has adopted multiple energy conservation initiatives, including a greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 80% by 2050 using a 2010 baseline.  In addition, through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, Cook County commits to 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2025 across its 15.6 million square foot portfolio using a 2013 baseline.

In 2014, Cook County approved the Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, which requires the county to establish a baseline and track annual data consumption across their portfolio to work toward energy and water reduction goals. Cook County uses the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool to identify, implement, and verify energy and water consumption reduction opportunities and measure savings.

Cook County plans to reduce energy usage intensity by leveraging a $107 million energy efficiency capital improvement program designed to upgrade 50 municipal facilities. The program will complete deep energy retrofits at multiple facilities, install renewable energy technologies, implement a behavioral change program, and pilot new sustainable policies and provisions. These initiatives help to reduce long-term utility costs, improve local air quality, and enhance workplace conditions.