The buildings where we live and work present a massive untapped opportunity for energy cost savings, economic development and reductions in greenhouse gas pollution. The goal of the Denver City Energy Project is to unlock $1.3 billion in energy savings and 800,000 metric tons of GHG emission reductions, the equivalent of 73,000 homes energy use for one year.
The first step in improving energy performance is to measure it. We're asking buildings to step on the ENERGY STAR scale to benchmark their building and then enroll in the Denver City Energy Project. The city is leading by example by benchmarking over 7 million square feet of its own buildings and committing to cutting their energy use 20% by 2020.
The Denver City Energy Project will help the citizens and businesses of Denver:
Save Money. Buildings use a lot of energy, so utility bills are a significant cost for owners and tenants. An estimated $340 million of potential investment in energy efficiency could yield $1.3 billion in energy savings.
Stay Competitive. Not only would the potential investment in energy efficiency create 4,000 jobs in Denver. Energy efficient buildings will make Denver an even more attractive place to do business. Tenants are starting to look for efficient buildings because they are cost effective, more comfortable, and in line with corporate sustainability initiatives. Today efficient buildings already have occupancy rates that are 1-18% higher than their standard counterparts.
Do Denver’s Part for the Climate. Over 64% of Denver’s carbon emissions come from commercial and multi-family buildings. The Denver City Energy Project aims to cut that by 18%.
Through meaningful engagement of stakeholders we are working on the details of how to meet these goals.
1 "United States Building Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models." Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank Group. March 2012. Numbers scaled to City and County of Denver.
2 "Assessing the Value of Green Buildings". Insitute for Building Efficiency. Johnson Controls.
3. 64% is based on Denver's core emissions, which are those which the City has the greatest opportunity to influence. If expanded emissions such as those associated with food and air travel are included then the percentage of total emissions attributable to buildings is lower.
The first step in improving energy performance is to measure it. Step on the ENERGY STAR scale to benchmark your building - and share the resulting Portfolio Manager score or EUI of your building with the city.
In exchange we will:
- Feature your building as an initial enrollee at the launch event.
- Put your building on the energy performance list or interactive map (under development).
- Give you engaging information to share with your tenants telling them you’ve enrolled and what they can do to help improve the building’s performance even further (under development).
- Use the data we collect to inform the design of additional building efficiency programs. (The city really needs your help here! We have very little data on how different types of buildings are performing today. Its like trying to solve the childhood obesity epidemic when we only know how many children there are in the city and their total weight. If you don’t want us to share your building’s score or EUI publically you will have that option.)
The city is leading by example by committing over 7 million square feet of City buildings to reduce energy use 20% by 2020 as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. Energy use in those buildings is benchmarked and entered into ENERGY STAR to track and compare against other buildings in the database.