The Denver City Council passes energy-efficiency rules for commercial buildings
In December 2016, the Denver City Council has unanimously approved new energy-efficiency regulations regarding the city’s commercial buildings.
Starting in 2017, commercial building owners in Denver will have to find out the Energy Star score of their properties using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. The city will then publish the scores in a clickable map and searchable database.
The new regulations are a trimmed-down version of a set of recommendations made in May by a task force assembled by Mayor Michael Hancock called Energize Denver. The panel’s job was to come up with recommendations that would help the city meet energy-efficency goals set by the mayor.
Initially, the recommendations included requirements for property owners to improve energy efficiency in their buildings every five years in addition to the benchmarking and transparency requirements. Those recommendations were met with stiff resistance from the commercial real estate industry in Denver.
But the rules that were passed Monday night are seen as a compromise by the industry, although the city may decide to try again to pass rules requiring commercial building improvements after collecting data using the new rules.
To begin, the rule applies to buildings that are 50,000 square feet and larger, but after the first year will apply to buildings 25,000 square feet and larger.
“By passing this ordinance, we’re aiming to make Denver a sustainable city for generations to come,” Hancock said in a statement Tuesday morning. “Local actions can have global impacts, and Denver will join with cities across the world who are taking positive steps to make their cities more resilient to our changing climate.”