The Mile-High City has joined the ranks of 20 other cities requiring large commercial buildings to report energy consumption data.
The energy transparency initiative is aimed at reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2020. Building energy use is responsible for about 57% of Denver’s carbon emissions, so city officials believe the new benchmarking ordinance is poised to make an impact.
Starting in June 2017, commercial and multifamily buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to report their ENERGY STAR score as determined by Portfolio Manager. Buildings over 25,000 square foot will have to report starting in June 2018. The city will make all of the scores available to the public each year.
The ordinance is based on the recommendations of the Energize Denver Task Force, a group comprised of property managers, building owners, investors, utility representatives, energy efficiency contractors and other stakeholders. The task force also recommended periodic cost-effective, quick-payback improvements for buildings that don’t place in the top quartile of performance; this proposal has not been presented to the city council but was vetted for further action in the future if needed.