City of Chicago

At a Glance


Government/Public Administration

Project Type




Chicago, IL


Stephanie Yang helped quantify energy savings realized through Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative.


Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative is the City of Chicago’s voluntary leadership effort to encourage, support and celebrate energy efficiency in large commercial buildings across the city. Upon joining the program, participating building owners and managers commit to 20 percent energy efficiency improvement within five years. 2015 EDF Climate Corps fellow Stephanie Yang advanced this nationally-recognized effort by quantifying building- and program-level energy saving to-date, providing building-specific technical support to help achieve the 20 percent reduction goal and accelerating City and partner-driven efforts to recognize Retrofit Chicago impact and outcomes.


Using participant building information and energy use data, Yang developed an analytical model of expected impacts including energy savings and avoided greenhouse gas emissions for program participants spanning more than 50 buildings and 40 million square feet. This savings model examined various energy metrics, including weather-normalized and adjusted energy use reduction, economic savings and greenhouse gas emissions, setting a foundation for ongoing program impact assessment. Yang also analyzed energy efficiency road maps developed in 2013 to capture key learnings and quantify remaining energy-efficiency opportunities. Additionally, Yang provided crucial program support by advancing building-specific outreach and coordination through the City of Chicago, non-profit environmental partners, utilities and private sector technical advisors. She leveraged the EDF Climate Corps program to engage other fellows at buildings participating in Retrofit Chicago, track progress and identify opportunities for collaboration. She also supported program stakeholders through meetings, workshops and information exchanges.

Potential Impact

Yang helped to advance and accelerate Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative energy reduction goals at individual buildings and across the program. Her Retrofit Chicago implementation model will support similar efforts in other cities through the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. Her road map analysis captures learnings and provides a quantifiable foundation for future program participants who strive to achieve 20 percent energy reduction.

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