Denver’s Ambitious Energy Efficiency Goals In Action

City on track to adopt 2018 IECC and for new construction achieving net-zero status by 2035.

In mid-July, Mayor Michael Hancock released the Denver 80×50 Climate Action Plan. It sets ambitious goals for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner transportation. While we’re going to focuson the first two facets, it is noteworthy to mention that the  plan calls for the city to adopt EV-friendly building codes.

Speaking of buildings, the plan calls for adopting the 2018 IECC, plus a more ambitious voluntary code, and aims to have new construction achieve net-zero energy status by 2035. The city will also set minimum energy standards for rental properties, consider a point-of-sale program for home energy ratings, and move towards reductions in thermal heating emissions.

For larger multifamily buildings, the City will continue to use their benchmarking ordinance. That ordinance benefits potential tenants by empowering them to compare the energy use of different buildings on a public map. The City might add a future program requiring low-performing buildings to make periodic, cost-effective, incremental energy-efficiency improvements.

Finally, the Mayor (and by extension, the City) has pledged to develop a green lease program, and provide incentives for high-performing/LEED properties and/or net-zero buildings.