Mayor John Hickenlooper and Gov. Bill Ritter this week launched the second year of Cool Biz, a summer energy-saving program that cuts energy use in government office buildings by raising thermostats. The program this year will include more than 100 City buildings.
Businesses and governments throughout Denver and Colorado are invited to participate in Cool Biz, which was initiated by Greenprint Denver last summer to help reduce the amount of energy needed to cool Denver’s buildings during the summer.
“It’s time to take off those ties, shed those jackets and dress a little more casual at the office,” Mayor John Hickenlooper said. “Turning up the thermostat and turning down the air conditioner in the summer is a simple, effective way to cut costs by using less energy and promote sustainability at the same time.”
Hickenlooper announced the start of this year’s program in the City at his weekly meeting Tuesday with the Denver City Council. Then he promptly removed his tie and jacket. The state of Colorado is also participating in the program again.
“Government wants to lead by example and show every day that we are serious about saving taxpayer dollars, conserving energy and protecting the environment,” Gov. Bill Ritter said. “Building a New Energy Economy includes smarter energy use, something we can all do together.”
Seven City office buildings took the lead last year by raising thermostats 4 degrees during the summer. The buildings were: the City and County Building, Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building, Castro Building, Family Crisis Center, Arie P. Taylor Municipal Center, McNichols Civic Center Building and Minoru Yasui Plaza. This year, more than 100 City buildings will participate.
Last summer, the Cool Biz program resulted in significant energy savings in the two full months the program was in place compared to the year before. Energy usage in the seven participating buildings was down 6.4 percent in July and 7.1 percent in August. After factoring in higher energy costs from 2007 to 2008, the City determined there was a $29,500 “avoided cost” because of the Cool Biz program.
City and state employees are invited to remain cool and comfortable throughout the summer by removing their ties, sweaters and suit jackets whenever possible and wearing short-sleeved shirts and blouses and open-collared shirts instead.
Hickenlooper invited area businesses and governments to join the Cool Biz program.
“We encourage everyone, whether at work or at home, to think of ways to conserve energy,” Hickenlooper said.
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