Denver requires energy benchmarking for buildings Email
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 04:00 AM

warehouseIf your green industry business is in Denver and is more than 25,000 square feet, you are now required to benchmark your energy use and report it to the city. Failure to do so could result in a fine of $2,000.

In December 2016, Denver City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet to benchmark their energy use. Building owners must track and report their ENERGY STAR score. This information on energy use will be made available to the public annually.

Buildings over 50,000 square feet were required to comply with the ordinance by June 1, 2017. There is currently a 90-day grace period, allowing businesses to report by September 1 to avoid a penalty. Buildings over 25,000 square feet have until 2018 to report their score.

Any individual building under 25,000 square feet is exempt from the ordinance. There are additional exemptions, which can be found at

The goal of the program is to reduce energy use by requiring energy benchmarking and transparency in multi-family and commercial buildings. The new ordinance, the Energize Denver program, is a key component of the city’s efforts to achieve Denver’s 2020 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050.

The city has developed a benchmarking starter kit and will offer in-person and recorded training sessions to help building owners with compliance.

Energy use from heating and cooling in buildings is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Denver, making up approximately 57 percent of Denver’s carbon emissions. The benchmarking is estimated to lead to annual energy savings between two and three percent.

The ordinance followed an 18-month stakeholder process led by Denver’s Department of Environmental Health, that incorporated a series of recommendations made by the Energize Denver Task Force on how to achieve significant reductions from commercial and multi-family buildings.

Learn more at

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