The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to lead a Chicago-based commercial office building smart grid pilot program as part of the Korea-Illinois smart grid collaboration. This venture will be funded by the Korea Smart Grid Association and two of Korea's largest energy and technology companies, KT Corp. and LG Electronics.

The program will demonstrate how smart grid technology and demand-response strategies can significantly lower energy costs, monetize the savings, and reduce carbon emissions at commercial buildings in Chicago. The Korea Smart Grid Association chose Chicago and BOMA/Chicago in particular as the launch pad for this innovative program because of its progressive smart grid strategy and reputation as a leader in the areas of sustainability and green practices.

BOMA/Chicago is partnering with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition and the Citizens Utility Board to develop and launch the commercial portion of the smart grid pilot program at six to 14 office and large residential buildings. BOMA/Chicago building members that take part in the commercial building pilot program will be empowered to:

  • Access and analyze their energy usage data, empowering them to adjust energy consumption strategies accordingly
  • Decrease overall energy consumption and cost
  • Effectively participate in demand response programs that pay them for their curtailment efforts
While the initial commercial office building pilot program will include a very limited number of BOMA/Chicago building members, the goal is to expand the size and scope of the program in the future. The organizational, structural and retrofit requirements of the expanded smart grid will create opportunities for both building members and affiliate members to participate in and reap benefits from the program.