Denver approves new ordinance for the electrification of buildings


On November 11, Denver City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will require reductions in energy performance and greenhouse gas emissions in existing commercial and multi-family buildings and future electrification requirements for residential buildings. existing buildings.

“This is truly a monumental step in the direction of rapidly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Katrina Managan, head of the buildings team for the Office of Climate Action. , Sustainability and Resilience (CASR) of Denver. “When we talk about bold but practical policies and actions that will have immediate and lasting benefits for residents, this is what we mean. “

Commercial and multi-family buildings in Denver account for 49% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Denver has pledged to reduce its emissions and achieve net zero energy use by 2040. The ordinance will significantly reduce emissions from Denver’s buildings, reducing them by about 80% by 2040.

The ordinance requires buildings over 25,000 square feet to achieve 30% energy savings by 2030. Interim targets for 2024 and 2027 are set to drive progress forward. The ordinance also requires the phased adoption of electric heating and cooling systems to replace gas systems when cost effective.

“The city really understands buildings, how they work and what really needs to happen to move towards renewable energy and electrification,” said Stephen Shepard, executive vice president of the Denver Metro Building Owners and Managers Association. “Working with the CASR buildings team on this new ordinance facilitated the establishment of a bold, flexible but achievable path towards greener buildings. “

The city plans to provide extensive compliance support to building owners and managers, including electrification incentives, additional support for buildings in underfunded communities, and an Energize Denver virtual resource center for serve as a one-stop-shop for easily understanding compliance measures. .

Based on the recommendations of Energize Denver Task Force, the ordinance is the culmination of eight months of collaboration and conversations between building owners and managers, local utility and energy providers, residents, tenants, nonprofits, worker and workforce representatives and clean energy advocates. The task force focused its work on equity to improve health outcomes, create and develop clean energy jobs, and advance climate solutions for communities most affected by climate change.

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