The City of Chicago now recognizes the ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP) as a data verifier credential under the city’s new Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. As a result, BEAP credential holders are eligible to provide professional verification of data for the new benchmarking and transparency ordinance.

“ASHRAE commends the City of Chicago for the commitment to improving building performance demonstrated by adoption of the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance and is very pleased that the Building Energy Assessment Professional certification is one of the first credentials to be recognized for the provision of services it requires,” said ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth. “BEAPs have demonstrated their ability to audit and analyze residential, commercial, and industrial building energy use, including determining project scope, collecting data, analyzing building performance, interpreting results, evaluating alternatives, submitting recommendations for energy conservation measures, and assisting with the implementation of these recommendations. Our BEAPS are well-qualified to provide this important service to the citizens of Chicago.”

In September 2013, the city became the ninth in the United States to require that buildings benchmark energy performance and publicly disclose data. The ordinance authorizes the city to disclose building specific information starting in the second year of compliance. Chicago is the only city that requires data to be verified by a licensed professional. Covered buildings are required to have data verified by professionals on the first and every third year after. That information then will be published so building owners can compare their buildings with similar ones.

All buildings over 50,000 sq ft, except industrial, are required to comply with the ordinance. Some 3,500 buildings are covered including multi-family residential. While this is less than 1% of all buildings in Chicago, it represents 20% of the energy consumed annually by buildings. 

Professionals holding the Building Energy Assessment Professional certification also qualify to perform" In Operations" ratings for ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient program. According to ASHRAE, this building energy labeling program allows the industry to zero in on opportunities to lower building operating cost and make informed decisions to increase value.

The program is two labels in one: an “As Designed” label that rates the building’s potential energy use under standardized conditions — independent of the building’s occupancy and usage — and an “In Operation” label that rates the building’s actual measured energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy and usage.