From Outside the State: A Colorado BESO Case Study

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In October 2015, the City of Boulder, Colorado adopted a new ordinance that modified existing voluntary programming to require that certain types of commercial, industrial, and City buildings conduct energy assessments, disclose building energy use, and take action if cost-effective energy upgrades were found through the assessments. Specifically, qualifying buildings will be required to do the following:

  1. Annually rate and report (R&R) building energy use;
  2. Perform energy assessments (EA) every ten years;
  3. Perform retrocommissioning (RCx) every ten years and implement cost effective 1 RCx measures within two years of the study; and
  4. Implement one-time lighting upgrades.

The City of Boulder requests that building owners conduct their energy use disclosure reporting by entering building data into the free, online EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software.

Per the press release on adoption of the ordinance, the City is pairing the ordinance requirements with free training and ASHRAE Level I basic building energy assessments for buildings under 50,000 square feet through their Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

A number of resources and guidance documents (including facts, compliance assistance, training, and other resources) for building owners and other stakeholders are on the City of Boulder’s webpage, here.

This ordinance uses a combination of energy data disclosure, which can inspire further building owner-chosen voluntary energy upgrades and improvements, and mandatory requirements for cost-effective upgrades, to achieve energy savings in City buildings and in the community. For another city using a similar approach, visit the City of New York’s webpage on building energy data and disclosure required under the City’s Local Law 84.

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