SmartRegs compliance is required for a rental housing license

The SmartRegs ordinance requires all standard long-term rental housing in Boulder to meet a basic energy efficiency standard.


SmartRegs energy efficiency requirements for rental properties were adopted in 2010. The city’s sustainability objectives met through these requirements include environmental, health, economic vitality, and social equity. As rental properties comprise over 50 percent of Boulder’s housing stock, the SmartRegs requirements advance overall community sustainability objectives. By requiring a minimum level of energy performance, compliance with SmartRegs results in more energy-efficient residential rental properties.

  • Properties must be compliant prior to application submittal for a rental housing license.
  • SmartRegs compliance is confirmed through a SmartRegs passing inspection, a HERS score or a Certificate of Occupancy for buildings constructed after 2001.
  • SmartRegs compliance remains with the property if ownership changes.
  • Any rental license that expired due to SmartRegs non-compliance prior to 2019 will be required to meet compliance prior to re-applying for a rental license.

SmartRegs FAQs

What if I only do Short-Term Rentals?

  • The SmartRegs Ordinance does not apply to a short-term rental license, which requires a property to be the owner’s principal residence.

What are the steps to obtaining my long-term rental housing license?

What happens if I don't become compliant?

Properties in Boulder are not eligible to be licensed as a long term rental if they are not SmartRegs compliant.

Get a SmartRegs Inspection

How to comply

  • Access the SmartRegs portal to be guided through the steps you need to take to gain compliance and receive a rental license.
  • A rental housing license requires proof of SmartRegs compliance at time of application submittal.
  • Property owners can comply with SmartRegs energy efficiency requirements by following a prescriptive or performance path, described below.
  1. Prescriptive Path

    The SmartRegs prescriptive path involves a checklist designed as an alternative to the SmartRegs performance path. The checklist relies on trained and certified Rental Energy Efficiency Inspectors (City of Boulder Class "G" license). To meet the requirements, each unit must achieve 100 points in addition to two mandatory points in the water conservation category. 98 percent of SmartRegs property owners choose the prescriptive path to achieve compliance.

    Rental properties that are challenged to reach SmartRegs compliance may request a review for a Technically Impractical exemption.

  2. Performance Path

    The performance path requires a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 120. The HERS index will be used for the verification of energy performance. A HERS rating shall be performed by a rater accredited by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)

    For complete compliance details, please see the SmartRegs Inspector Guidebook.