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Mandatory Benchmarking Ordinance Achieves 85 Percent Compliance Rate

Energize Denver Ordinance Intended to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Largest Source - Buildings

Just under a year after passing Energize Denver, an ordinance that requires large commercial and multifamily building owners to measure and publicly report their building’s energy performance, Environmental Health staff reports 85% of buildings over 50,000 square feet are in compliance.  The City will publish building energy performance data each year to enable the market to better value energy efficiency, like MPG ratings for cars or nutrition labels on food. 

Passed by City Council in December of 2016, Energize Denver aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the largest source in Denver, commercial and multi-family buildings. In its first year, Denver’s benchmarking ordinance requires owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet to annually benchmark the energy performance of their building, using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool. Next year buildings over 25,000 square feet will be phased into the requirement.

Benchmarking the energy performance of buildings is the first step to understanding and reducing energy consumption because you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

When passed, Denver joined over 20 other large cities, including New York, San Francisco and Washington DC with similar benchmarking requirements. Based on data from other cities, Denver expects to see 2-3 percent energy savings each year in the covered buildings.

The ordinance was developed as part of a 12-month stakeholder process, which has been followed by ongoing training and support for property owners and managers to meet compliance deadlines.  There is a $2,000 penalty for any building owner that does not comply.