Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) has launched an interactive map showing how buildings across the city rank in terms of energy efficiency. The Building Energy Performance Map displays buildings’ ENERGY STAR scores, which reflect the energy efficiency of each structure on a 1–100 scale. Similar to the miles per gallon rating for vehicles, ENERGY STAR scores allow building occupants, owners and tenants to compare performance across buildings to make better-informed business decisions — and learn whether their buildings operate like hybrid vehicles or gas guzzlers.
The interactive map draws from building performance data collected under the Energize Denver ordinance, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by commercial and multi-family buildings. In its first year of implementation, Energize Denver had a 90 percent compliance rate.
The 2017 Energize Denver reporting cycle affected buildings exceeding 50,000 square feet in size, and in 2018 the program will phase in buildings 25,000 square feet and larger. The compliance deadline for this larger set of covered buildings is June 1, 2018. Trainings, help sessions and ongoing support will be available to assist the approximately 3,000 buildings within this size range in meeting compliance in 2018.
Energy use from heating and cooling buildings is the single largest source of GHG emissions in Denver, accounting for approximately 57 percent of its carbon emissions. Improving building energy efficiency will not only reduce GHG but will also help protect quality of life via improved air quality.
Energy savings can also help strengthen the economy when reinvested locally. Investing an estimated $340 million in improving building energy efficiency in Denver could result in the creation of 4,000 local jobs and $1.3 billion in energy savings over 10 years.
“Measuring public energy performance scores is a major milestone towards achieving the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050,” says Katrina Managan, senior advisor, Energy Efficiency, DDPHE. “Benchmarking the energy performance of a building is the first step toward understanding and reducing its energy consumption, which is directly tied to harmful emissions.”