Equity Priority Buildings Compliance Assistance

An icon of two people high-fiving. One is standing on a stool to make them equally as tall as the other one.

Energize Denver is an important step in reducing the impact of climate change. The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency is working with our most vulnerable communities to understand what assistance will help them most so that Energize Denver improves the lives of our frontline communities.  

What is an Equity Priority Building?

Equity Priority Buildings serve frontline communities with less access to resources, who may face more barriers adapting to a changing climate.  

Equity Priority Buildings Eligibility Application Form

What are Frontline Communities?

Frontline communities are groups that face the effects of climate change at higher rates than those with more resources. Frontline communities have less access to health, income, and resources. These communities include:  

  • Low- to medium-income communities
  • Communities of color
  • Indigenous people 
  • Those who speak languages other than English 
  • People with disabilities and chronic conditions 
  • Older adults
  • Young children 
  • People with criminal records
  • The LGBTQ+ community
  • Refugees and immigrants 
  • Undocumented community members 

People who have had less access to wealth and resources also have less ability to adapt to a changing climate. These communities are our priority as we work to make Denver more sustainable and resilient.  

What are Human Service Providers?

Simply put, Human Services are organizations, groups, and institutions that help people meet their basic needs, such as homeless shelters, food pantries, or senior centers.

Your organization might be considered a human services provider if it is a(n)...

  • Advocacy Organization 
  • After-School Provider 
  • Childcare Center 
  • Community Center 
  • Disability Service Provider 
  • Domestic Violence Center 
  • Emergency Service Agency (fire, police, Red Cross) 
  • Family Support Agency 
  • Food Pantry 
  • Homeless Shelter 
  • Housing Service Provider 
  • Immigration and Refugees Service Provider 
  • Job Training and Workforce Development Service 
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Facility 
  • Rehabilitation Provider 
  • Senior Center 
  • Social Service Agency (including unemployment and social security offices) 
  • Transitional or Supportive Housing (including for teens and LGBTQ+) 
  • Women's or Children's Shelter 
  • Veteran Services 
  • Other providers serving under-resourced communities  

Community Connections: Designing our Services

Between April and November 2022, we held a series of community meetings, virtual listening sessions and one-on-one conversations. We talked to building owners, managers, tenants, community leaders, and critical external stakeholders in the Equity Priority Building community. Our goal was to build trust with the community, gather insights and feedback directly from the people who will use our additional services, and identify critical resources that the community is missing. Together with the groups we met with, we were able to hear directly from the community and co-create a plan for services and incentives that will help Equity Priority Buildings meet their Performance Requirements.

What resources are available for Equity Priority Buildings?

The compliance assistance program determines Equity Priority Buildings based on various criteria. Buildings may qualify for compliance assistance with the Energize Denver Performance Policy, if your building:

  • Is more than 30% regulated affordable housing units
  • Is located in Denver’s NEST neighborhoods with a high prioritization ranking on the equity index and serves frontline community members
  • Has significance to the neighborhood and serves frontline community members
  • Has human service providers as tenants or owners responsible for HVAC systems and/or utility bills
  • Is located in a Census tract below the Denver median income and meets one of the following:
    • In a census tract with a high prioritization ranking on the equity index
    • Serving frontline communities
  • Provides affordable rents, defined as being below 1/3 of the monthly Denver median income
  • Has a mission aligned with corporate social responsibility values such as livable wages, health benefits to employees, hiring a local workforce, donating profit to charities or causes, etc.

Qualified buildings will receive long-term free compliance assistance in meeting Energize Denver's Performance Requirements. This assistance goes beyond what the Energize Denver help desk typically provides. The service level a building receives will be based on the information you submit in your eligibility application, the building’s equity index score and prioritization, and available funding in the program.  

Compliance assistance will take a phased approach, starting with Benchmarking and Data Verification assistance. This ensures that Equity Priority Buildings correctly submit their benchmarking data and understand their EUI targets.  

Phase 1 – Benchmarking and Data Verification

  • Targeted outreach to all buildings we have identified as potential Equity Priority Buildings
  • Assistance with filling out the Equity Priority Building eligibility application
  • Assistance with completing your annual benchmarking report and data verification
  • Advanced benchmarking assistance
  • Assistance with completing the Target Adjustment applications (if needed)  

These services are available to you after we review your Equity Priority Building eligibility application. If you have already applied and we have approved it, you can request these services today. Submit your application

Phase 2 - Advanced Services 

We will be piloting these services throughout 2023: 

  • Access to an online building portal to track energy performance and savings
  • Virtual ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Assessment for your building
  • Onsite ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audit for your building
  • Assistance with completing Alternate Compliance applications (if needed)
  • Specific energy retrofit recommendation analysis for your building
  • Assistance with draft scopes of work for retrofit plans and bids
  • Assistance in reviewing vendor bids and choosing a contractor
  • Assistance in finding financial resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to your building 

If you have any questions, email us at EnergizeDenver@denvergov.org or call us at (844)-536-4528.  

What other resources are available?

Partner Resources for Buildings

Resources for Tenants

Tools to Help You Find Energy Rebates