Your First Energy Compliance Deadline is Less Than One Year Away

The Energize Denver Ordinance mandates new energy regulations for buildings 25,000+ sq. ft. that you need to know about. Learn how becoming compliant sooner will save you money faster!
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* Energy Compliance deadlines subject to change


Your First Energy Compliance Deadline is Less Than One Year Away

The Energize Denver Ordinance has introduced ambitious new energy regulations that you need to know about. Learn how becoming compliant sooner will help save the planet (and your wallet)!
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* Energy Compliance deadlines subject to change

If you’re a business or building owner in the Denver metro area, chances are you’ve heard about the city’s ambitious energy objectives.

Local authorities are pushing commercial businesses to do more with less…

And Energize Denver is at the forefront of new energy regulations. The Energize Denver Task Force was created to help the City move toward sustainability, and they’ve already codified a number of unprecedented policies. The Task Force aims to reduce fossil fuel emissions and increase clean energy production, starting with Denver’s commercial buildings.

Energize Denver is a step in the right direction for sustainability, but if you’ve been left wondering how new energy policies will affect you, you’re not alone. The future of energy use is fast-moving and unpredictable—and falling behind may mean spending significantly more on energy. So, keep reading! We’ll explain everything you need to know about Energize Denver, and how you can stay ahead of the curve.

Learn About It

What is the Energize Denver Task Force?

The Energize Denver Task Force was created by the Denver City Council to develop recommendations on how to create a more resilient energy system in Denver.

Composed of stakeholders from the local energy sector, labor leaders, local business owners, environmental advocates, and more, The Task Force is focused on identifying ways to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

More specifically, the Task Force aims to create “…a building performance policy for existing buildings that improves health and equity, creates jobs, and drives climate solutions in existing buildings to achieve net zero energy by 2040.”

Their overarching recommendation is significant—the goal is to cut 80% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, and while this might seem like a distant objective, many of the Task Force’s recommendations for reaching it have already been codified. In fact, if you operate a building 25,000 sq. ft. or larger, you’ll be the first to feel the effects of these new regulations.

Let’s take a closer look at net zero, and what you’ll need to do to reach it.

What is the Task Force’s Roadmap for Net Zero?

The road to net zero will look different for everyone (emissions targets will change depending on the size of your building, energy use, etc.), but the expected outcome is the same. Energize Denver considers a “net zero” building one that is…

  • Highly Energy Efficient
  • All Electric
  • Powered by Renewable Energy and Electricity (Xcel Energy will deliver a grid that is 80% renewable by 2030).
  • A provider of Demand Flexibility for the Grid (e.g. producing energy for the grid)

While net-zero will likely become policy for businesses and homes, commercial buildings will be expected to lead by example.

If that sounds unattainable, don’t worry just yet—Energize Denver’s plan includes incentives and support to help make net zero a more reasonable goal. Plus, budget-neutral financing options such as energy performance contracts can eliminate the upfront cost of an energy system overhaul. With that said, let’s take a closer look at Energize Denver’s recommended regulations for energy use in Denver.

We'll guide you along the way

Energize Denver Recommendations & Ordinance

To be clear, the recommendations made by the Energize Task Force were passed by the Denver City Council in 2022. So, pay close attention and remember your building will likely be subject to these new policies to some degree. This is a general overview of the most important requirements—to see Energize Denver’s official list of recommendations, click here.

Increase Renewable Energy Use

This includes increasing the use of solar energy, wind energy, and other forms of clean energy to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels. The Task Force also recommends developing a “smart” electric grid, which will allow for better energy use management.

Create a community-wide energy efficiency program

This program will focus on helping residents and businesses in Denver become more energy efficient by providing education and resources on energy-saving practices.

Create a sustainable financing system

This system will be used to fund the implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations and ensure that the city can continue to invest in sustainable energy sources in the long term. The Task Force also recommends establishing a city-wide energy data management system to help track energy use and monitor progress.

Set Building-Specific Energy Use Intensity Targets Using a Trajectory Approach

This recommendation is key, especially when we get into building-specific efficiency measures. Essentially, each building will have an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) baseline and target score that will need to be hit. Renewable energy sources (primarily solar) will count toward lowering this score initially, but this will not be a long-term solution. Target deadlines are set for 2024 and 2027, though this timeline may be adjusted.

Partially Electrify Space and Water Heating at Time of System Replacement

By 2027, high-efficiency space and water systems (primarily heat pumps) will be incentivized and required in new construction. Incentives will also be provided for installing heat pumps rather than traditional gas heating systems.

As these policies are updated, you’ll need to be aware of how your building’s square footage factors into energy compliance.

Compliance Guidelines for Buildings 5,000 - 24,999 sqft

Commercial and multi-family structures within this category will not adhere to an EUI score, nor will they need to submit annual energy reports. Instead, you’ll have two options for reaching energy compliance:

Option 1: Improve Lighting
  • Install LED lighting to cover at least 90% of the lighting load throughout the building (interior and exterior lighting).
  • Or achieve a reduction in lighting power density equal to what the above action would have resulted in.
Option 2: Improve Energy Sources
  • Install enough renewable power generation to generate at least 20% of the building’s annual energy usage. 
  • Or purchase off-site renewables that generate enough electricity to meet 20% of the building’s annual energy usage.

The interim compliance deadlines for buildings in this category are as follows:

15,001 – 24,999 sqft
December 31, 2025

10,001 – 15,000 sqft
December 31, 2026

5,000 – 10,000 sqft
December 31, 2027

Compliance Guidelines for Buildings 25,000 sqft +

For buildings 25,000 sq. ft. or larger, things get a bit more complex. If you’re operating a structure of this size, you should’ve already received an individual EUI target to be met by 2030 (interim deadlines are set for 2024 and 2027).

If you’re not sure how to reach your EUI target, feel free to contact us for assistance. In the meantime, we’ll give you a few key points about energy compliance:

  • Buildings 25K sq. ft. or larger must submit annual energy benchmarking data through Energy Star on an annual basis.
  • All commercial and multi-family buildings 25K sq. ft. or larger must partially electrify water and space heating systems at replacement.
  • Buildings 25K sq. ft. or larger will be expected to reach 80% electrification by 2030. Electrification measures will be incentivized, and alternative compliance measures may be requested.
  • Buildings 25K sq. ft. or larger will be required to reach 30% overall energy savings by 2030 unless an exemption is requested or alternative compliance measures are met.

Why is the Energize Denver Task Force So Important?

So, what makes Energize Denver so important?

Well, the objectives Energize Denver set in 2021 are no longer recommendations—they are regulations that will need to be met, and getting started sooner to achieve these requirements will benefit you greatly.

According to Energize Denver:

“ The City should push building owners and managers to make actual improvements in 2022 and 2023 because the carbon savings from energy efficiency in these early years will be the very greatest.”

In other words, it’s time to start working toward cleaner, greener energy use, and starting now will make the greatest impact.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! As Colorado’s only locally owned and operated energy services company (ESCO), we pride ourselves on helping local business and building owners achieve energy efficiency and compliance.

Consult. Construct. Sustain.

Stay Ahead of Energy Regulations with Iconergy

New energy regulations and compliance deadlines are right around the corner – that’s why we’re here to help you stay ahead of the curve. Our objective is to simplify energy efficiency and compliance by tailoring a strategy that meets your specific needs.

We understand that one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work when it comes to energy services. Your building may require minor adjustments to certain systems or a complete overhaul to achieve optimal efficiency.

In any case, we’re here to provide a streamlined and cost-efficient path to energy efficiency.

With an average of 15+ years of experience, our team possesses the expertise and practical knowledge to design, construct, and install the energy systems that will help your building excel. 

The results are a win-win situation—modernizing your energy systems will likely result in lower energy/maintenance costs, improved comfort, and a building that is energy compliant for years to come.

There’s no better time to get started. So, let’s take the first step…

Click here to contact us about energy system upgrades, or visit our homepage to learn more about what we do.

For more information on Energize Denver and current energy compliance regulations, click here.

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If energy savings don’t materialize after energy system upgrades are performed, we pay the difference.

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Comprehensive improvements to HVAC, water, and electrical systems for greener, more comfortable facilities.

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Most facilities are one of one—we design, install, and upgrade energy systems based on a plan made specifically for you.

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John Weigel Superintendent, Arriba-Flagler Consolidated School District 20

"The staff at Iconergy is knowledgeable, courteous, and timely. They truly care about every client, as demonstrated by their consistent willingness to go above and beyond."

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