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One of our goals is to achieve 100% renewable electricity for 256 City and County of Denver municipal buildings by 2025. New buildings will be included in the goal as they are added to the city's portfolio.

Includes: City and County Building, Wellington Webb Building, Crime Lab, Sheriff Department locations, Recreation Centers, Parks, Libraries. See full list of facilities.

67.8 gigawatt hours (GWh)

in annual electricity usage, costing

$5.8 million

in annual electricity charges


towards goal


Includes: Wastewater Building, Human Services locations, Denver Golf facilities, Botanic Gardens, Arts & Venues buildings. See full list of facilities.

44.4 gigawatt hours (GWh)

in annual electricity usage, costing

$3.7 million

in annual electricity charges


towards goal


We are currently at 18% of our goal of having 256 municipal buildings powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

Here's how we'll get there:

8 Strategies

Energy Efficiency for Existing Buildings

1) Elevate Bond Renovations
2) Energy Performance Contracts
3) Continued Energy Management Program, including Operations and Behavior Changes


New Construction

4) General Guidelines for Achieving Net Zero Energy


Renewable Energy Coordination

5) Xcel Energy Certified Renewable Percentage (future offering)
6) Rooftop Solar through Net Metering and Power Purchase Agreements
7) Xcel Energy Renewable Connect
8) Purchase Windsource or Renewable Energy Credits (as back-up plan)


Progress to Date

Energy Efficiency Initiatives

  • An energy performance contract to finance energy efficiency measures in 14 buildings, which resulted in an annual energy savings of 11 percent.
  • Demand-side management programs from Xcel Energy that include rebates and other financial incentives for energy efficiency measures such as lighting, motor and drive-efficiency projects, resulting in 9.8 GWh of electricity savings
  • New roofing standards for light-colored roofing materials and improved insulation
  • Citywide energy efficient equipment selection
  • Standards for thermostat settings  

Renewable Energy Programs Currently Subscribed To:

  • Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards program; rooftop solar on 14 buildings through Power Purchase Agreements
  • Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community program; solar garden subscriptions from various solar developers
  • Xcel Energy’s Renewable*Connect program; solar garden subscriptions from Xcel Energy

A $26 million investment is required

to achieve the goal for energy efficiency strategies and electricity savings. These investments would come from:

  • $1.4 million Xcel Energy Incentives 
  • $10.4 million 
    • Elevate Denver
    • Parks 2A Funding
    • Capital Planning Efforts
  • Remainder of funds from an energy performance contract could require approximate funding of $570,000 for technical energy audits and $14.4 million to implement energy efficiency measures 

Successfully executing the plan for 100% renewable electricity in municipal buildings will require:

  • Aligning departments across the City and County of Denver to achieve this fast-paced and ambitious goal;
  • Fostering a culture of energy awareness among employees to motivate participation;
  • Approving the necessary funding and actively managing projects, especially energy efficiency capital improvement projects;
  • Partnering with Xcel Energy on energy efficiency and renewable supply strategies; and
  • Securing regulatory approvals for future renewable options. 


City and County of Denver Energy Office
Department of General Services

What We Do

SUPPORT city-wide sustainability policies, programs, initiatives and payment of utility bills

IDENTIFY solutions to meet energy and water use reduction goals

PROVIDE data analysis, measurement and verification for all sustainability programs and initiatives

PARTNER with Facility Managers city-wide to implement efficient energy management best practices

ACHIEVE energy use reduction and cost savings through participation in Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) performance contracts, Xcel Energy's rebate programs and capital improvement projects 

Local governments can dramatically reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing or directly generating electricity from clean, renewable sources.

The most common renewable power technologies include:

  • Solar (photovoltaic, solar thermal)
  • Wind
  • Biogas (e.g., landfill gas/wastewater treatment digester gas)
  • Geothermal
  • Biomass
  • Low-impact hydroelectricity
  • Emerging technologies - wave and tidal power

Options for using renewable energy include:

  • Purchasing green power through through renewable energy certificates (RECs) - also known as green tags, green energy certificates, or tradable renewable certificates – that represent the technology and environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewable resources.
  • Purchasing renewable energy from an electric utility through a green pricing or green marketing program, where buyers pay a small premium in exchange for electricity generated locally from green power resources.
  • Generating renewable energy on-site using a system or device at the location where the power is used (e.g., PV panels on a state building, geothermal heat pumps, biomass-fueled combined heat and power).

Benefits of Renewable Energy

  • Environmental and economic benefits of using renewable energy include:
  • Generating energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduces some types of air pollution
  • Diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on imported fuels
  • Creating economic development and jobs in manufacturing, installation, and more

Source - "Local Renewable Energy Benefits and Resources."

Energy Star Certification
Sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To earn ENERGY STAR certification, a facility must operate among the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide that year, with no sacrifices in comfort or quality. View the list of city-owned buildings that have earned the Energy Star. 

Better Buildings Challenge (2020)
Sponsored by the US Department of Energy
Mayor Hancock endorsed the Better Buildings Challenge for city-owned buildings to improve city facilities’ energy efficiency per square-foot by 20% by 2020 from a 2011 baseline. The city committed 7.2 million square feet of municipal facilities to this goal, with the flexibility of a 20% variation from this square footage. View our progress. 

2020 Sustainability Goals
Sponsored by the City and County of Denver Office of Sustainability

  • Reduce energy consumption in city-owned buildings and vehicles by 20 percent and double renewable energy produced from city-owned buildings compared to 2012 baseline.
  • Reduce potable water use in city-owned buildings by 20 percent compared to 2012 baseline.

View the city’s progress report. 

80x50 Climate Action Plan (2050)
Sponsored by the City and County of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment
The 80x50 Climate Action Plan outlines strategies to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2050 through deep decarbonization in buildings, transportation and electricity generation. Goals like the 100% renewable electricity goal are part of the Climate Action Plan. View the plan. 

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Achieving the renewable electricity goal will reduce the City and County of Denver's annual carbon footprint by 62,000 MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent), approximately equal to the carbon emitted from 13,400 passenger vehicles per year. It will also result in over $1 million per year of electricity savings.

A Strategic Energy Plan for City and County of Denver Municipal Facilities 100% Renewable Electricity Goal


Municipal Facilities
Climate Action Guide


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