Get the latest updates on COVID-19

Visit the Health and Human Services Department's COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates.

(Visite la página web Evanston en Español para obtener las últimas actualizaciones.)



Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option





Benchmarking Guide

For more detailed information about the following steps of the compliance process, refer to the Benchmarking Guide.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager 

Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM) is an online tool created by the US EPA to track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions and waste & materials. To get started with benchmarking, the following resources will be useful references:

2.1. Create a Portfolio Manager Account

The first step to using ESPM is to create an account. Follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the ESPM account signup page.
  2. Enter the required account information and settings.
    • Note: Username cannot be changed once a Portfolio Manager account has been created.
  3. Click Create My Account.

2.2. Gather Basic Information Required and Set up Property Profiles

  1. Determine basic information required to set up your property profiles.
  2. Add and Set Up Property Profiles in your Portfolio.

2.3. Request Whole-Building Data

Energy and water utilities will work with building owners to provide whole-building, aggregated data that can then be uploaded or shared in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. See the sections below to see the utility-specific steps to obtain your energy or water use data.

  • Gas (Nicor) 

    Nicor is currently working to create an online system for customers to access their data which will be available by the end of this year. Given that the system will not be ready by the June 30th reporting deadline, the following program has been established:

    • Complete the following forms:
      • Landlord Agreement: this form verifies the person requesting the data is allowed to receive the data
      • Unit/Tenant List: this Excel file includes the fields Nicor requires in order to aggregate a property's data
        • Note: the only fields Nicor requires in order to submit this form are the Tenant Name and Unit Number. If the Master Meter or the Meter number for each account is unknown these can be blank
    • Email completed forms to They will confirm this information and process your request.
    • Questions? Call Nicor Gas’s customer service at 888-642-6748 or email them at
  • Water (Evanston)

    • Call 311 or submit a request online for your water data.
      • Fill out all fields requested by the form
        • Relationship to the building (e.g. owner)
        • Water account number(s)
        • Year for which you are requesting data
        • Evanston Building ID
      • Receive email from 311 with data in an Excel spreadsheet
    • Log onto WaterSmart Portal to request water data.
      • WaterSmart is a water management portal offered by the City to help property owners manage their water consumption, detect leaks early and learn ways to increase water use efficiency.
      • In order to sign up all you need is your account number and zipcode. The account number can be found on a copy of your water bill.
      • After you have set up an account you can download your water consumption data by clicking the “Download Data” tab at the top of the dashboard and choosing, “AMI Meter Readings for this account.” This will allow you to download you entire account history worth of data in Excel. This data can then be uploaded to your ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account. The City is working with WaterSmart to allow you to download individual year’s worth of data to make reporting easier.

2.4. Enter Energy and Water Use Data into Portfolio Manager

There are 3 ways you can enter your utility data into Portfolio Manager:

  • Enter data manually (create/update one meter at a time)
  • Upload data using spreadsheet templates (create/update multiple meters at once)
  • Work with third-party providers that exchange data directly with Portfolio Manager via web services

We recommend the latter two options for the most simple and efficient data entry. See How to Get Utility Data Into Portfolio Manager for detailed instructions about each method. Buildings will likely have at least two energy meters, one for electricity and one for natural gas. For water usage, buildings will likely only have one meter. Building owners do not need to create separate meters for each physical meter on their property, as they are only required to report whole building aggregate data. However, from a building management perspective, building owners may find it helpful to track physical meters separately. The overall steps are outlined below:

  1. Create energy/water meter(s). Whole-building monthly energy/water usage will be tracked with these meters.
  2. Enter data for each meter.

2.5. Check for Possible Data Errors

Portfolio Manager has a built-in tool called the Data Quality Checker that allows you to check your data for possible errors such as temporary values, default values, overlapping or missing data, etc. The overall steps are below:

  1. Click on your property’s Summary tab.
  2. In the box titled “Check for Possible Data Errors,” click Check for Possible Errors.
  3. Select your timeframe as the reporting year ending in Dec 31 and click Run Checker.
  4. Read the list of alerts and Portfolio Manager’s recommendations to fix the data.
    • Note: It is imperative that 12 months of data is entered for Portfolio Manager to calculate energy and water metrics.