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Last Updated July 9, 2015

Program Overview


Regulatory Policy



Incentive Type:

Energy Standards for Public Buildings



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State Green Building Standards
Illinois requires that all new state-funded construction or major renovations are required to seek LEED, Green Globes, or equivalent certification. The Green Buildings Act (July 2009) defines major renovations as projects with a budget of at least 40% of a building's replacement cost and makes the following requirements based on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system:

  • New buildings and major renovations of less than 10,000 square feet must meet the highest LEED standard (or equivalent standard) that is practical. Certification is not required.
  • New buildings and renovations of 10,000 square feet or larger must be LEED Silver (or two-globe rating in the Green Building Initiative's Green Globe program) certified and receive all LEED credits deemed mandatory by the CDB.

Exemptions to the requirements are granted for buildings that are not "comfort" conditioned. In addition, agencies may apply for waivers from the requirements if they can demonstrate that the adhering to the standard would result in unreasonable financial burden; an impediment to construction; a functional impairment to the building; or would compromise the historic nature of the building. The Capital Development Board is responsible for analyzing and evaluating these requirements.

State Agency Energy Efficiency
In 2007 the Illinois legislature enacted additional legislation specifically addressing energy efficiency in state government. The new law directs all executive branch state agencies to set a goal of reducing energy use by 10% within 10 years (2018). It also requires executive branch state agencies to purchase Energy Star equipment, including air conditioners, computers, appliances, and office equipment. Both requirements are subject to a cost-effectiveness evaluation by the Department of Central Management Services to be completed by January 1, 2009. The results of the evaluation will determine whether or not the requirements remain in effect.

In April 2009, Governor Quinn signed Executive Order 7 to better coordinate energy savings activities in State government. Specifically, EO 7 directs the Department of Central Management Services to implement a program to increase energy efficiency, track and reduce energy usage, and improve energy procurement for all State-owned and State-leased facilities. To facilitate these actions, the executive order creates an "Energy Efficiency Committee" consisting of several agency heads from various departments (Dept of Central Management Services, Dept of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Capital Development Board). The committee will oversee energy audits, implementation of subsequent recommendations, procure equipment/services designed to decrease energy consumption at State-owned and State-leased facilities. It will help agencies better take advantage of incentives available for energy efficiency upgrades. The committee is authorized to collect and pay all utility bills for State-owned and leased facilities for all agencies and then bill the agencies for reimbursement.

In August 2005, the state of Illinois enacted legislation establishing a Green Building Advisory Committee (GBAC) to assist the state Capital Development Board (CDB) in determining the appropriate green building standards for new state construction and major renovations. The subsequent GBAC guidelines were adopted.