On December 19, 2016, the City of Denver passed a landmark ordinance that will drive significant energy performance improvements in the City’s large multi-family and commercial buildings. The ordinance, the Energize Denver program, requires that the energy performance of large multi-family and commercial buildings be tracked and reported on an annual basis. By tracking and reporting energy use, energy saving opportunities can be identified and the value of energy saving measures can be recognized and rewarded in the marketplace, providing an important incentive for improved performance. The City estimates that the ordinance will result in energy savings of 2 to 3 percent per year. The new ordinance is a key step for the City as it works to achieve ambitious climate change mitigation goals, including a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
The new ordinance builds on the City’s ongoing actions to improve the energy performance of its municipal buildings and facilities. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, the City of Denver has committed to reduce energy use in its 7 million square foot municipal building portfolio by 20% by 2020. Through energy efficiency upgrades, such as those made to the Richard T. Castro Building, the City has already achieved an 8% reduction from a 2011 baseline (as of 2015), cutting greenhouse gas emissions and delivering substantial energy cost savings.