Benchmarking & Ordinance Compliance

Benchmarking allows us to measure your energy use over time, so you’ll have all the information you need to remain energy compliant.

Wondering what steps you should take to make your building compliant? We're here to help.

If you own a building in the state of Colorado, energy benchmarking and ordinance compliance are probably nothing new to you. Denver, in particular, has required energy use intensity (EUI) reporting from businesses 25,000 sq. ft. or larger since 2016—and the mile-high city continues raising the bar for energy use. Still, municipal and state energy regulations are ever-changing. Energy regulations are quickly pushing for cleaner, greener energy use from businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Among others, Denver’s Energize Denver ordinance, Boulder’s Building Performance program, and the upcoming statewide Building Performance Colorado program are designed to drastically reduce Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions within the next few decades.

Wondering what steps you should take to make your business compliant? You’re not alone!

And that’s why we’re here to help. As Colorado’s only locally owned and operated energy services company (ESCO), we’re passionate about supporting local business owners as they prepare for a new standard of energy use. Iconergy is a valuable resource to help you stay informed about the latest developments and updates on the Building Performance Colorado program. We are here to help you stay up-to-date and engaged with the program as it evolves.

  • Establish a baseline

    Start by establishing a baseline through benchmarking to understand your building's current operations.

  • Conduct an energy audit

    Conduct an energy audit to identify conservation measures and create a roadmap for implementation.

  • Reasses and identify

    Implement the identified projects and have Iconergy reassess your energy use compared to compliance targets.

  • Monitor, verify, and adjust

    Continuously monitor and verify the building's compliance, implementing additional conservation measures over time to sustain or improve energy use reductions.

What is Energy Benchmarking?

Before we dive into the specifics of local and state energy policies, we’ll give you the rundown on energy benchmarking and how it plays a role in energy compliance.

Energy benchmarking is the process of measuring a building’s current energy use (water, gas, electric, etc.) relative to past energy use. Benchmarking can help us prioritize energy system upgrades, gain building certifications such as LEED or ENERGY STAR, and improve energy efficiency overall…

But in this case, our focus is on benchmarking in relation to energy codes and compliance. The bottom line is, benchmarking allows us to measure your energy use over time, so you’ll have all the information you need to remain energy compliant.

Keep this in mind as we take a closer look at a few of Colorado’s energy policies.

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

Energize Denver: New Requirements for Businesses 5000-25,000 sq. ft. and Beyond

Own a Building 25,000 sq. ft. or larger? Your first compliance deadline is less than one year away!

In a nutshell, the Energize Denver ordinance is the most recent iteration of Denver’s 80×50 climate plan. The primary focus of this new ordinance is to reduce 80% of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

Most new energy regulations will affect businesses differently depending on a number of factors—and when it comes to the Energize Denver ordinance, this primarily comes down to square footage. 

Because the Energize Denver Task Force found that 51% of Denver’s GHG emissions are produced by large multi-family and commercial buildings, these policies prioritize buildings 25,000 sq. ft. or more. 

Along with EUI requirements for large commercial facilities, the ordinance includes a number of new requirements and options for meeting those requirements. Visit our Energize Denver page for an in-depth explanation of Denver’s new energy regulations—we’ve included the most important details below: 

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 reports. See our Energize Denver page for more information on meeting compliance standards!

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

15,001-24,999 sq. ft. – December 31, 2025

10,001-15,000 sq. ft. – December 31, 2026

5,000-10,000 sq. ft. – 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’ll receive an individual EUI target to be met by 2030.

If you’re not sure how to reach your EUI target, we’d be happy to help. 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.

Keep in Mind: If you own a building 25,000 sq. ft. or larger, your first interim compliance deadline is less than one year away! And if your building is smaller than 25,000 sq. ft., don’t forget to check out our Energize Denver page—you may still be required to make incremental upgrades to your energy systems.

Boulder’s Building Performance Program: Moving Efficiency Requirements Beyond Voluntary Programs​

Get compliant with Iconergy today—your deadline may be as soon as June 1st! 

Boulder’s Building Performance Ordinance (BPO) “…Aims to reduce energy use and improve the quality of Boulder’s commercial and industrial building stock” per the City of Boulder.

In other words, this program is designed to reduce energy use and improve efficiency. Boulder’s ordinance isn’t quite as specific about emissions reductions as Energize Denver.

Instead, Boulder’s BPO lays out four requirements that must be met by the following building types:

  • Existing Buildings  ≥ 20,000 sq. ft.
  • New Buildings  ≥ 10,000 sq. ft.
  • City-Owned Buildings ≥ 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Large Industrial Campuses

Remember, compliance is crucial—the City of Boulder has made it clear that failure to meet these requirements will result in fines of $0.0025 per square foot per day (up to $1,000 per day) for non-compliance.

With that said, let’s take a look at the four main requirements of Boulder’s BPO (and how our team can help you meet them)!

Boulder's BPO Requirements:

Rating &

Per BPO, will be required to use the free ENERGY STAR portfolio management program to submit annual energy reports. Our team is qualified to help you compile this report to ensure the information is accurately presented.


Every ten years, Boulder’s BPO will require building owners to perform full energy assessments that meet or exceed the Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits. As you can see here, Iconergy is on the city’s list of qualified service providers for this assessment.

One-Time Lighting Upgrade

BPO’s third requirement—and an easy one to check off your list—is a one-time lighting upgrade. Essentially this includes installing high-efficiency lighting (per IECC standards), installing automatic on/off switches, etc. As always, our team is happy to help you understand and implement this requirement!

Retrocommissioning (RCx)

We specialize in Boulder’s fourth and final energy requirement—retro-commissioning (RCx). In short, RCx involves auditing your energy use, finding weak points in your energy system, and performing a building “tune-up.” This service may include rebates through the City of Boulder.

Remember, energy compliance is crucial—the City of Boulder has made it clear that failure to meet these requirements will result in fines of $0.0025 per square foot per day (up to $1,000/day) for non-compliance. We serve the entirety of Colorado and the surrounding regions with pride and have a satellite office in Boulder.   So, if you’re looking to become BPO compliant but you’re not sure where to start, contact us first! Our team has an in-depth understanding of BPO and is qualified to help you meet all four of Boulder’s building Performance Ordinance requirements.

Fort Collins Building Energy and Water Scoring Program: Transparency on Energy Use for All Businesses

Improve efficiency and be prepared for future energy regulations with Iconergy. As one of Colorado’s fastest-growing population centers, Fort Collins has taken crucial steps to preserve water and energy. 

At the core of Fort Collins’ energy policy is the city’s Building Energy and Water Scoring program. This program requires transparency of energy and water efficiency of commercial and multifamily buildings 5,000 square feet and above. 

The city lays out four main benefits of the Building Energy and Water Scoring program:

  • Improve your building’s net operating income (NOI) 
  • Identify and prioritize future building improvements 
  • Advertise your building’s performance and differentiate yourself in the marketplace 
  • Retain tenants and improve occupancy 

Fortunately, those benefits are easily attainable and accessible for all building owners.
The City of Fort Collins requires building owners to sign up for the free-to-use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to report annually on water and natural gas use. You can find more information about that program here.

While no energy upgrades are currently required, this will likely change in the near future. If you’re ready to make energy upgrades to improve efficiency and occupant comfort, while reducing operating costs, we’d be happy to assist you. Simply contact us for more information!

In Review: Your Next Steps for Meeting Energy Use Requirements

We get it—the last thing you want to worry about while you’re trying to run your business is energy regulations. And our team is here to help take some of that weight off your shoulders. Still, it’s worth noting that energy regulations like these are nothing new. Numerous jurisdictions across the state and across the country are passing similar legislation.

While it may seem like a headache right now—smarter energy management is ultimately a good thing for your business and the environment. So, what’s next? Well, your path to sustainability (and eventually, net zero energy use) will be unique to your business—and the experts at Iconergy are here to help you navigate it.

Energize Denver

• Denver building owners should begin preparations to meet their first EUI target in 2024.

• If you are a building owner with a high EUI and you’re uncertain you’ll be able to afford energy upgrades to meet ordinance requirements, we can help.

• The Colorado Clean Energy Fund, Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), Xcel, and the City and County of Denver are all rolling out programs to assist building owners in reaching energy compliance.

Boulder’s Building Performance Ordinance

• BPO deadlines are dependent on building size, but the city of Boulder has announced that the deadline for buildings between 30,000 sq. ft. and 49,000 sq. ft. is June 1st, 2023.

• If you’re unsure of your deadline, or you need assistance reaching compliance for one or more BPO requirements, contact us!

• Xcel is offering retro-commissioning incentives (the Building Tune-Up Program and RCx study program) that may cover up to 75% of RCx project costs depending on building size and project type.

Fort Collins Building Scoring & Water Program

• Buildings of 5,000 sq. ft. or more are subject to Fort Collins’ Building Scoring and Water Program; building owners must sign up for the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager if they haven’t done so already.

• While Fort Collins doesn’t currently require any energy system upgrades, getting ahead through energy audits, retrofits, and other services from Iconergy will equip you for long-term compliance and lower-cost energy use.

Concerned About Energy Compliance?
You’re in the Right Place—Contact Us Today!

Our team is here to guide you through new regulations, become ordinance compliant, and reach a higher standard of energy use.

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