New Building Electrification Rebates

Looking for electrification pilots for existing buildings? The city is piloting an incentives program for large multifamily and commercial buildings to make efficiency upgrades by early 2023. If you think your building’s natural gas heating equipment will need to be replaced in the next three years, fill out our application to learn more about the program and see if your building might qualify for this pilot project.  

Denver is offering incentives for new buildings and homes built with all-electric equipment. Choosing electric equipment over natural gas equipment will reduce Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change we are already experiencing. All-electric new buildings and homes can be cheaper to build and operate with highly efficient technology like heat pumps. 

Designing and building new space and water heating systems comes with a learning curve, so we’re here to help. Denver offers the following incentives to help our community create a healthier and more sustainable built environment. Funding is available for both design incentives and pilot projects.

Design Incentives

Funding is limited to approximately 5-8 demonstration projects (contingent on available funding) – if you are interested, apply today.

  • $5,000 to $25k per project* in funding for architectural firms, MEP firms, and builders interested in designing all-electric new buildings and homes. 
  • Seeking drawing sets and as-built drawings for all-electric new buildings that can be utilized as examples for future projects. Identifying information can be redacted.
  • Examples of drawings may include but are not limited to:
    • mechanical, electric, and plumbing plans
    • mechanical notes and schedules
    • mechanical specifications, and 
    • mechanical standard details that demonstrate the design for an all-electric building.
  • Denver would especially like to see all-electric building designs from Denver or Colorado-based firms and/or Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) firms.

To access new building incentives, submit designs for all-electric homes or building in Denver.

Apply

*Note: Available funding is intended to help with the cost difference and learning curve to transition from mixed fuel to all-electric design, equipment, and installation. Projects funded and the amount of funding will be at the discretion of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency staff, and will be based on projects costs, complexity, and replicability.  

Lower ranges are intended for smaller projects like single- family homes, whereas the upper limits represent larger projects like large multifamily buildings. 

Pilot Projects

Funding is limited to approximately 5-8 demonstration projects (contingent on available funding) – if you are interested, apply today. 

  • $10,000 to $75k per project* in funding for builders or property owners interested in using city funds to serve as an all-electric pilot or demonstration building project construction. 
  • Specific project types could include homes, restaurants, hotels, offices, apartments or condos, warehouse facilities, or other building types.
  • Denver would especially like to see projects from Denver-based firms, Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) firms, and/or affordable housing developers.  
  • Equity Focus: 50% of the pilot project funds will be prioritized for affordable housing or otherwise serve or benefit under-resourced communities in Denver.

Apply for new building incentives if you want to fund your project and be featured as a case study on how to build all-electric buildings in Denver.

Apply

*Note: Available funding is intended to help with the cost difference and learning curve to transition from mixed fuel to all-electric design, equipment, and installation. Projects funded and the amount of funding will be at the discretion of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency staff, and will be based on projects costs, complexity, and replicability.  

Lower ranges are intended for smaller projects like single- family homes, whereas the upper limits represent larger projects like large multifamily buildings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the intent of this funding?

The intent of this funding is to:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of all-electric buildings with local examples
  • Show the process of how all-electric buildings can be designed, built, and operated in Denver 
  • Pair local examples with case studies and other resources to assist with the shift to all-electric buildings for new construction 

Is Denver going to require my building to be 100% all-electric?

The City and County of Denver is not currently considering mandates explicitly focused on small gas appliances. However there are individual and community health implications associated with some of these appliances, and less harmful alternatives are available.

Note: To be eligible for Denver's electrification incentives, buildings will need to be all-electric.   

Are there rebates or funding opportunities for heat pumps or other electrification equipment?

Yes, Denver has multiple incentives and financing opportunities for electrification equipment. 

Can the electric grid withstand Denver transitioning to all-electric buildings?

Denver’s electric grid should not need significant upgrades to accommodate medium or even high levels of electrification adoption.  Coordinating the electrification transition with Denver’s electric and gas provider, Xcel Energy, will help Denver plan for and encourage smart, efficient electric appliances that mitigate impacts on the electric grid. See the Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan for more information.


Isn’t gas heating a more reliable option if the power goes out?

Both gas and electric heating systems are affected by power outages. Natural gas furnaces do not work when the power is out. Natural gas furnaces use an electric starter to ignite and require an electric-powered fan to move heat through the home.  


Can heat pumps maintain a comfortable heating level when outdoor temperatures are below freezing?

Yes, see this Minnesota study on cold climate air-source heat pumps as an example and a testament to heat pump ability to provide efficient heat down to -20F. More information is also available in Denver's Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan

What is the City and County of Denver doing to ensure Denver has a trained workforce capable of building electrification?

Our team has developed a webinar library with training resources to help with the building electrification learning curve. Denver is also investing in workforce training and development through the Climate Protection Fund.



What are the benefits of all-electric buildings?

The transition to renewable heating and cooling will cost-effectively benefit Denverites. Benefits include providing air conditioning as temperatures rise, reducing children’s exposure to carbon monoxide, and rapidly mitigating climate change by lowering potent methane emissions.  

  • Add Jobs: An analysis by Inclusive Economics forecasts that building electrification for both space and water heating will result in 643 to 1,047 jobs in Denver within the next 30 years.
  • Proven, Reliable Technology: Heat pumps have been in use since the 1800s in American refrigerators, and for decades to heat homes and buildings in Asia and Europe. Heat pumps move heat instead of making it, achieving 250-300% efficiency (100% efficiency is based on a source that makes heat).
  • Contributes to Innovate Grid Management: Heat pump water heating can help utility providers further manage the electric grid and align electric energy use with availability of renewable electricity. Heat pump water heating can store energy in the form of hot water when surplus power is available.
  • Promotes Greater Equity: Transitioning to renewable heating and cooling and all-electric buildings can provide air conditioning to those who lack it today, improve resident and building safety by eliminating the potential for gas leaks, and lower exposure to indoor air pollutants.
  • Can Reduce Utility Costs: An RMI study found that an all-electric home has 2% lower annual utility costs than mixed-fuel home.
  • Is Cost Effective: When existing furnaces, air conditioning compressors, or hot water heaters fail, most homes and buildings can find an electric equivalent at a similar cost for both installation and operation, as a new gas system.
  • Improves Air Quality: Fossil gas burned to heat homes and buildings results in 20% of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions. As Xcel Energy's electric grid moves to 100% carbon free power, electric heating and cooling provide a clear path to reducing emissions and improving air quality.
  • Fights Climate Change: 97% of building's greenhouse gas emissions come from space and water heating. Replacing gas equipment with renewable energy-powered electric equipment helps slow down and reduce the worst impending impacts of climate change.

Will an all-electric building cause a large increase in my utility bill?

No, an RMI study found that all-electric homes have 2% lower annual utility costs than mixed-fuel homes. A literature review of multiple studies found that all-electric multifamily buildings were 1% cheaper to build than traditional construction and had operating costs that were 14% lower. In commercial buildings, upfront costs were 8% lower for all-electric and 3-9% higher for operating costs. However, this analysis was conducted before the recent increase in gas prices.