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Boulder Building Performance

Boulder Building Performance

Energy Efficiency for Commercial and Industrial Buildings

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In support of community energy goals, the City of Boulder is developing commercial and industrial rating and reporting (R&R) and energy efficiency requirements. These requirements would move beyond current voluntary programs, to require actions that would reduce energy use and improve the quality of the commercial and industrial building stock. As proposed, this ordinance would require energy rating and reporting and periodic energy efficiency measures. View the Boulder Building Performance infographic pdf for a quick overview of proposed requirements and compliance timeline.

Council Action

Based on stakeholder feedback and community engagement, staff presented Council with options for the proposed requirements at the May 12, 2015 study session. Based on council feedback, staff developed an ordinance for first reading to council on Sept. 1, 2015. At the Sept. 29, 2015 council meeting, a public hearing was held at second reading and Council adopted the second reading ordinance as proposed. A final third reading, and formal adoption, is scheduled on consent for the Oct. 20, 2015 council meeting. A City Manager Rule will be published for public comment following ordinance adoption, and it will include the implementation details for rating and reporting, energy assessments, retrocommissioning and lighting upgrades.

Proposed requirements:

  • In 2016, Boulder's largest buildings (greater than 50,000 sq. ft.) and city-owned buildings (greater than 5,000 sq. ft.) will be required to report annual energy usage. Smaller buildings (greater than 20,000 sq. ft.) will be phased in over time.
  • Efficiency requirements (lighting upgrades, energy assessments and retro-commissioning) will be phased in three years after rating and reporting is required. Lighting upgrades will be a one-time requirement, while the energy assessments and retrocommissioning will be required every 10 years. High performing, energy efficient buildings will be exempt from the efficiency requirements.
  • The city will publicly disclose building-specific energy use and energy ratings two years after the first rating and reporting deadline.

At this time, city staff is continuing to engage building owners, property managers, commercial real estate brokers, and other stakeholders to gather feedback on proposed requirements and implementation strategy.

Past meetings and webinars

June, 16, 2015: Split Incentive Stakeholder Workshop

May 12, 2015:  City Council Meeting, 6:45 p.m. - 8:15 p. m.

April 13, 2015:  Commercial Brokers of Boulder

April 2, 2015: IFMA Boulder Networking, Partners for a Clean Environment

March 18, 2015: City of Boulder Webinar: Proposed Requirements Commercial and Industrial Building Owners

Feb. 25, 2015: Boulder Tomorrow - presentation pdf and overview of proposed requirements pdf

Feb. 4, 2015: Downtown Boulder Inc., Public Policy Committee

Community working group

The 2014 City Council Work Plan identifies commercial building energy efficiency as a top priority. To assist in the development of proposed requirements for commercial and industrial building rating and reporting and energy efficiency, the city assembled a community working group made up of local experts and stakeholders that met late 2014 through early 2015. Meeting summaries and presentations from the Commercial and Industrial Working Group are below.

Meeting 5, Jan. 23, 2015: summary pdf and presentation pdf

Meeting 4, Jan. 9, 2015: summary pdf and presentation pdf

Meeting 3, Dec. 5, 2014: summary pdf and presentation pdf

Meeting 2, Nov. 14, 2014:  summary pdf and presentation pdf

Meeting 1, Oct. 23, 2014:  summary pdf and presentation pdf

What is rating & reporting?

Rating refers to the process of measuring and comparing the normalized energy use of a building to other similar buildings. This is done using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM), a nationally used and free, online tool developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Similar to car performance rated in miles per gallon, ESPM provides a rating system for building performance using energy use intensity (EUI).

Reporting refers to disclosing building energy use measurements and associated ratings to various parties, such as the city, the public, or interested buyers and tenants.

What may be required of building owners?

Under the proposed requirements, building owners would need to:

  • Collect whole-building energy data each year.
  • Enter this data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM).
  • Share ESPM data with the City of Boulder and your tenants.
  • Implement required efficiency measures.

Voluntary commercial building energy rating & reporting program

Are you a building owner who wants to better understand how your building uses energy and compares to other buildings across the U.S.? Join the thousands of building owners already using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager , the free online rating tool developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Check out Portfolio Manager, rate your building, and begin reducing building and operational energy waste today.

Need a hand? For free assistance rating your building's energy performance through Portfolio Manager, contact a PACE Business Sustainability Advisor* at 303-786-7223 or email [email protected]

*Provided by Boulder County and the City of Boulder  Climate Action Plan (CAP) Tax dollars , supporting businesses and building owners in achieving their energy efficiency goals.

Commercial buildings energy rating and reporting pilot program

This city-led pilot program took place in 2012 and explored the development of a standard procedure for rating the energy performance of existing commercial buildings using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free, online energy rating and reporting tool developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The pilot demonstrated how participating building owners, tenants and the city can better understand energy use in existing commercial buildings and identify opportunities to save businesses and property owners money through energy efficiency upgrades.