Electrification Feasibility Reports (EFRs)

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1. Overview

Denver requires new paperwork for gas equipment permits for commercial and multifamily buildings. Quick permits are no longer used in this process. You now need to provide extra information to the city to permit natural gas heating and cooling equipment. Most permits will go through the full review process. The Electrification Feasibility Report is one option you have to meet this new rule. 

Who Does this Apply To?

This requirement applies to all existing commercial and multifamily buildings in Denver. The Denver Energy Code Commercial Provisions regulate these buildings. This includes commercial buildings, multifamily apartment buildings, and multifamily condominium buildings.

Single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, and townhomes are not subject to these rules. Not sure what kind of building you are working on? Check out this graphic(PDF, 57KB) to help you. If you prefer, you can read a text version(PDF, 146KB) of the graphic instead. If you have additional questions about what type of building you are in, please email atarchstruc.review@denvergov.org.

What is an Electrification Feasibility Report (EFR)?

The EFR helps you assess the practicality and cost of switching from gas to electric equipment. 

It will tell you:  

  • The estimated energy consumption of the gas and electric replacement systems
  • The estimated energy and carbon savings for switching to an electric system
  • The estimated energy bills with the gas and electric replacement systems
  • The estimated costs for installing a replacement gas and electric system

You can use the EFR to make an informed choice about whether to convert a building's heating and cooling systems to electric. You will find out whether it is cost-effective compared to a like-for-like gas system.

Filling Out the Electrification Feasibility Report

Some building owners may be able to complete the report on their own. However, most owners will need to work with a contractor, engineer, or energy consultant. This professional will provide information about: 

  • The types and costs of both gas and electric replacement equipment
  • The building's utility rate structure
  • Site-specific information on electrical, ductwork, or space constraints  

We encourage building owners to refer to the list of contractors who completed our in-person or online training. These contractors are not preferred, and we have not vetted their work. They have attended our training and passed our comprehension quiz. Do you want to get onto that list? Complete the online training and quiz.

We have incentives to help offset the cost of completing an EFR with a contractor. 

Submitting the Electrification Feasibility Report 

Submitting an EFR to the City and County of Denver is easy.

  1. Complete the report using the online tool
  2. Denver will review and approve the report you submit.
  3. You will receive a PDF copy of the report.
  4. Attach this PDF report to the online permit application.

That's it! If you have trouble figuring out where to submit the completed EFR after Denver has reviewed it, please reach out to us.

2. EFR Training for Contractors

You can now watch an online version of the Electrification Feasibility Report training. We broke the content up into seven different modules. You will need to watch all seven modules to complete the training. After you finish the videos, complete the quiz we have provided. Once we have reviewed and scored your quiz, we will add you to our list of trained contractors.

What you can expect to gain from this training: 

Contractors

  • Knowledge: Understand how 2022 Denver Building Code requirements affect your work. Learn about permitting changes and city resources. Learn how the Electrification Feasibility Report helps with new code requirements. See how the report can help your clients decide whether installing electric equipment makes sense. Get ahead of the curve now. Take the training and know what you need to do.

  • Hands-on Training: Take part in hands-on exercises with sample reports. See how the reports work in various types of buildings. Walk away with the confidence to begin using the tool the next day. You will also learn about heat pump technologies. This lets you bid on more projects as the city moves toward requiring heat pump technology. 

  • Competitive Advantage: We will add your name to list of trained contractors. You can also add Electrification Feasibility Reports to your offerings. This lets to broaden your services and be a leader in the market. You will also be able to talk about Denver's requirements with confidence. This will let you provide more competitive bids. 

  • Learn About Rebates: You will learn about Denver’s electrification pilot and rebates. Rebates for Electrification Feasibility Reports and building electrification will help you sell jobs.

  • Learn About Permitting Changes: Quick permits are no longer allowed. Learn about the Mechanical and Electrical drawings you will need to submit instead. Learn how to submit the Electrification Feasibility Report and other requirements for permitting. 

Energy Professionals

  • Knowledge: Understand how 2022 Denver Building Code requirements affect your work. Learn about permitting changes and city resources. Learn how to use the Electrification Feasibility Report can in capital planning. You can also use them in facility assessments and audits. Understanding the costs to electrify now will help your customers plan. The tool can also help building owners meet their energy performance requirements

  • Hands-on Training: Take part in hands-on exercises. There will be sample reports on various types of buildings. Walk away with the confidence to begin using the tool the next day.  

  • Competitive Advantage: We will add you to our list of trained contractors. You can also add Electrification Feasibility Reports to your offerings. This lets you to broaden your services and be a leader in the market. 

  • Learn About Rebates: Learn about Denver’s electrification pilot and rebates. Informing your customers of these rebates will allow them to plan for electrification and include YOU in their plan to electrify. You’ll also be invited to provide input on Denver’s pilot and programs to make sure they are easy for you and your customers to navigate. 

Design Engineers

  • Knowledge: Understand how 2022 Denver Building Code requirements affect your work. Learn about permitting changes and city resources. Learn how the Electrification Feasibility Report can help you follow new code requirements. It will also help your clients decide if installing electric equipment makes sense. Get ahead of the curve.

  • Hands-on Training: Take part in hands-on exercises. There are sample reports on various types of buildings. Walk away with the confidence to begin using the tool the next day.  

  • Competitive Advantage: We will add you to our list of trained contractors. Learn where your knowledge and services will be needed for permitting review. You can also add Electrification Feasibility Reports to your offerings. This lets you broaden your services, be a leader in the market, and provide more competitive bids. 

  • Learn About Rebates: Learn about Denver’s electrification pilot and rebates. Taking advantage of Denver's rebates will help you sell jobs. 

 

Module 1 – Introduction and Why Electrify

Module 1 includes an introduction to the Electrification Feasibility Report training series.  It covers why building owners should electrify, partial vs. full electrification, and discusses the City and County of Denver’s goal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. It also introduces heat pumps as a possible solution. 

 

Module 2 – Denver Commercial and Multifamily Code Changes

Module 2 discusses Denver commercial and multifamily code changes, including the Energize Denver Ordinance and specifically the existing building electrification requirements that fall under it. Changes to the permitting process for gas space and water heating equipment are covered in detail.   

 

Module 3 – HVAC Systems for Electrification

Module 3 focuses on electrification of HVAC systems, including the most immediate opportunities for electrification, specifically AC and rooftop units, as well as the next electrification opportunities for more complex systems in the future. 

 

Module 4 – Plumbing Systems for Electrification

Module 4 focuses on electrification of plumbing systems, including the most immediate opportunities for electrification, specifically electric resistance tank water heaters, gas tank water heaters, and gas tankless water heaters, as well as the next electrification opportunities for more complex systems in the future. 

 

Module 5 – Electrification Feasibility Report Introduction

Module 5 discusses the Electrification Feasibility Report, which is a screening tool that can be used to assess the feasibility of using an electric heat pump or dual fuel heat pump when replacing gas HVAC or water heating equipment.  The tool compares a like-for-like gas replacement option to a heat pump option based on installed costs, estimated annual energy usage, estimated annual energy cost change, and the social cost of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the equipment. 

 

Module 6A – Electrification Feasibility Report Demo for HVAC Projects

Module 6A is specific to HVAC installers and contractors who want to complete an EFR for a building owner.  Prior to watching this video, you should have requested and been granted access to the Electrification Feasibility Report tool online.  This instructional video will walk HVAC contractors through the steps to complete and submit an EFR via the tool.

 

Module 6B – Electrification Feasibility Report Demo for Domestic Hot Water

Module 6B is specific to Domestic Hot Water installers who want to complete an EFR for a building owner. Prior to watching this video, you should have requested and been granted access to the Electrification Feasibility Report tool online. This instructional video will walk DHW contractors through the steps to complete and submit an EFR via the tool.   

  

Module 7 – Building Electrification Program

Module 7 finishes the training series by providing an overview of the Building Electrification Program, including the Pilot Program and additional utility incentives and financing programs. The video concludes with a summary of the training series and provides additional resources. We have rolled out additional rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling systems since the recording of this video. For the most up-to-date information on rebates please see Building Electrification Rebates.

 

Electrification Feasibility Report Training Quiz

Once you’ve completed the training modules, please complete the quiz. You must score 80% or higher to pass and be included on the list of contractors eligible to work on projects receiving an incentive. If you do not pass, we will reach out to you to work through it.

Take the Quiz

Quiz results are monitored weekly. Please allow up to two weeks for your name to be added to the list.

See the list of contractors who have passed

3. Accessing the EFR Tool

To request access to the Electrification Feasibility Report tool, you will need to complete the short Contractor Access Request Form. You will receive a confirmation email following submission. Once the request has been reviewed, you will receive a second email indicating whether you have been Approved or Denied access to the tool. Please contact denverelectrification@michaelsenergy.com or call us at (720) 782-7661 if you have questions or run into issues.

Request Access to the Electrification Feasibility Report Tool

Once you’ve been granted access to the Electrification Feasibility Report Tool, please watch this short video about how to log in to the tool and add a building to your account:

 

4. Preparing to Complete an EFR

You can use the Electrification Feasibility Report Pre-Site Visit Checklist(PDF, 61KB) (Spanish version(PDF, 91KB)) to help you and the building owner prepare for an Electrification Feasibility Report. The checklist has both “must-have” and “nice-to-have” items listed. “Must-have” items are required to effectively complete the Electrification Feasibility Report. They should be addressed before beginning the Electrification Feasibility Report process. “Nice to have” items can be helpful, but we do not require them before the site visit. You can collect these items at a later time or during the site visit.

"Must Have" Items include:

  • Total building square footage and square feet estimate of the area being served by the piece of equipment you are replacing.
  • Access to mechanical system spaces for equipment being replaced. This may include roof and basement access as well as relevant mechanical rooms.
  • Access to electrical rooms.
  • If access is not permitted into a space where the equipment is located, the individual filling out the Electrification Feasibility Report will need details on the equipment serving that space. Equipment nameplate information is best.
  • Gas and electric rate structure as identified on the building owner’s utility gas and electric bill.

"Nice to Have" Items include:

  • Building floor plans
  • Facility MEP drawings and mechanical schedules
  • Electric service breaker capacity and an understanding of circuit capacities serving specific equipment being evaluated for replacement
  • An understanding of existing electrical service capacity

Working with the building owner to gather and prepare this information ahead of time will make for a smooth site visit and help you to effectively complete the Electrification Feasibility Report.

5. Invoicing for an EFR Rebate

According to the rules for the Electrification Feasibility Report Rebate, contractors must invoice Michaels Energy for the cost of the Electrification Feasibility Report and may not invoice the building owner.  The invoice must include the following:

  • Contractor Business Name, Address, and Phone Number
  • Customer Name and Address
  • Quantity of Electrification Feasibility Reports you are completing
  • Equipment Type the Electrification Feasibility Report will be completed for
  • Hours – only provide hours for completing Electrification Feasibility Report. Do not include repairs or other services, sales calls, etc.
  • Hourly Rate
  • Costs

You may find it helpful to check out a sample invoice(PDF, 71KB). Contractor invoices do not have to follow this exact format, but the required information must be included or it may delay or prevent rebates from being issued.

6. Frequently Asked Questions

Electrification Feasibility Reports

What is the purpose of the Electrification Feasibility Report?

The Electrification Feasibility Report is a tool to help a building owner determine if they should get a bid for a heat pump. The tool considers items such as:

  • Physical/location constraints
  • Electrical infrastructure constraints
  • Other infrastructure constraints (e.g., ductwork and electrical service capacity)
  • Availability of equipment
  • Upfront and operating costs of gas vs. electric alternatives
  • Energy and carbon savings

How long is an Electrification Feasibility Report valid for?

You can complete an Electrification Feasibility Report up to two years before applying for a building permit. You may need to update it during that time. For example, you can use a 2024 report for a 2026 building permit, but not for a 2028 building permit.

If the results of the Electrification Feasibility Report indicate that electrification is cost-effective, does a building owner have to electrify?

Not now. Starting in 2025, electrification will be required for:

  • Gas furnaces
  • Unitary AC/condensing units serving a heated space
  • Gas water heaters

This is triggered when the Electrification Feasibility Report indicates that it is cost-effective. In 2027 PTACs, VTACs, and boilers be required to be electrified when cost-effective.

How long will the review of an Electrification Feasibility Report take?

Michaels Energy will review all Electrification Feasibility Reports. They will contact you with questions or to provide results. This will happen within 10 business days of the date of submittal.

What if I’m bidding against other contractors? Will the Electrification Feasibility Report be tied to the building? Will the competition be able to see my Electrification Feasibility Report?

You will only be able to see reports that you have created. Your competition won’t be able to view your reports. If you are bidding against another contractor, only ONE contractor can receive a rebate per piece of equipment. To receive a rebate, you must get preapproval from Michaels Energy.

Can a building owner that already paid for one Electrification Feasibility Report request the inputs so they don’t have to pay again for a second bid?

Building owners can contact Michaels Energy. They can give you the results from the two Electrification Feasibility Reports from the two bids. This will let you compare them.

There is potential for an economy of scale for the design fees if multiple systems are replaced at once. Is there any way to reflect this? Should I estimate the costs as if only one system is being replaced?

If the owner is likely to replace all the systems, divide the design cost across the systems. Then complete separate Electrification Feasibility Reports for each system. You can do this by duplicating the tab in the online tool. If you need help doing this, please contact Michaels Energy:

  • Email: DenverElectrification@MichaelsEnergy.com
  • Call: 720.782.7661

If the owner only wants to replace one piece of equipment, then only complete one Electrification Feasibility Report. Put all the design costs there.

How is the cost effectiveness/cost parity of replacing gas equipment with heat pump equipment determined?

We compare the net present value (NPV) of a new gas system to the NPV of a new electric system. If the NPV of the electric system is less than or equal to 15% more than the gas system, the electric system is cost-effective.

NPV is a financial tool used to determine the value of an investment over its lifetime. The NPV includes:

  • The capital cost to install the new equipment (equipment + labor + other expenses)
  • The cost to operate the piece of equipment over the equipment’s expected lifetime
  • The social cost of carbon over the equipment’s expected lifetime

How is the social cost of carbon calculated?

The social cost of carbon is estimated using the methodology found in the building code:

  • "Social cost of carbon dioxide means either seventy-nine dollars ($79.00) per metric ton of carbon dioxide with an annual escalation rate of two and one-half (2.5) percent from January 1, 2022, or the social cost of carbon dioxide as determined by the public utilities commission of the State of Colorado, whichever is greater."
  • "Projections for the metric tons per therm are constant at .00528441 while metric tons per kWh are projections that reference Xcel Energy’s projected renewable electric generation through 2025 (reaching 80% renewable by 2030)."

 

 

Electrification Feasibility Report Rebates

What is required to receive a rebate to do an Electrification Feasibility Report?

For building owners to use the rebates, they must hire a trained contractor. This means they attended an in-person training or watched the recording online. They must have also passed the comprehension quiz.

See the list of eligible contractors

To receive a rebate, you must get preapproval from Michaels Energy. Visit our Building Electrification Rebates page to learn more and apply.

Can more than one contractor get a rebate for doing an Electrification Feasibility Report on the same building?

No. Only one contractor will be paid for a report for any single piece of equipment.

An Electrification Feasibility Report is for one piece of equipment. Two contractors can do Electrification Feasibility Reports for two different pieces of equipment. In this case, both contractors could receive rebates for their respective reports.

What happens if a competitor is also bidding and creating their own Electrification Feasibility Report?

The building owner must submit a rebate application first. They must also get preapproval. Both steps must happen before a contractor starts an Electrification Feasibility Report. This prevents creating two reports for the same piece of equipment.

 

Questions about Electrification

Is there enough electricity on the grid to handle building electrification?

Yes! According to Xcel Energy spokesperson Michelle Aguayo, "We are planning the grid to meet the anticipated demands of beneficial electrification of buildings, transportation and others reliably and affordably."

The City and County of Denver and Xcel Energy meet monthly. During these meetings, we discuss any upgrades to the grid that might be needed. The Energy Future Collaboration drives this discussion. Additionally, we are conducting a study, in collaboration with Xcel Energy. This study will look at Xcel Energy’s Denver distribution system. The goal is to identify any areas of capacity needs for:

  • Building electrification
  • EV charging
  • Renewable energy integration

 

 

What prevents a building from freezing if only electric is allowed? Is gas backup an option?

Gas backup, or dual fuel equipment, is allowed. One of these may be the best, most cost-effective option for many buildings. Partial electrification is also an option.

There are very effective cold-climate heat pumps on the market. These can operate well at temperatures below zero. Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships has a list of residential-style cold-climate air-source heat pumps.

Which Multifamily Buildings are affected by the Electrification requirements?

Multifamily homes are subject to electrification requirements in the 2022 Denver Building Code. Affected buildings are any that are regulated by the Denver Energy Code’s Commercial Provisions. This includes:

  • Commercial buildings
  • Multifamily apartment buildings
  • Multifamily condominium buildings

Single family dwellings, two-family dwellings, and townhomes are not subject to these requirements.