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Incentives/Policies for Energy Efficiency

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City of Chicago - Green Permit Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/16/2014
Program Overview:
State: Illinois
Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Green Roof
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Schools, Institutional
Web Site:

The City of Chicago encourages building design, construction and renovation in a manner that provides healthier environments, reduces operating costs and conserves energy and resources through their Green Permit Program. The Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) Green Permit Program provides developers and owners with an incentive to build green by streamlining the permit process timeline for projects which are designed to maximize indoor air quality and conserve energy and resources.

Green Permit Program Incentives
Projects accepted into the Green Permit Program can receive permits in less than 30 business days or in as little as 15 business days. The number of green building elements included in the project plans and project complexity determines the length of the timeline. In addition, projects which meet the most stringent sustainability guidelines may also qualify for a partial waiver of consultant code review fees, up to $25,000.

Application Procedure
Interested applicants must involve DOB early in the design process. DOB will help to guide the applicant through the process to ensure the shortest permitting process time.

Acceptance into the Green Permit Program is based on a series of requirements that qualifies the project for one of two different Benefit Tiers of green building certification:

  • Commercial projects must earn certification within the appropriate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Smaller residential projects must earn a two-star or greater rating under the Chicago Green Homes program.

Both commercial and small residential projects are also required to earn from one to three menu items, or additional green design strategies above and beyond certification prerequisites, in order to be eligible for permitting privileges.

  Sophie Marie Martinez
Green Permit Program Manager/Projects Administrator
Department of Buildings
Room 906
121 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 744-7862
Fax: (312) 744-1985
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.