Denver has announced its plan to unlock $1.3 billion in energy savings through a targeted effort to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gases from the energy used by commercial and multifamily buildings.
At the official launch of the Denver City Energy Project, 57 building owners pledged their commitment to benchmarking and measuring their performance.
Led by Deputy Mayor and Chief Financial Officer Cary Kennedy and Denver Environmental Health Executive Director Doug Linkhart, Denver city officials acknowledged the project partners, Denver Metro BOMA, Xcel Energy, the International Facility Management Association Denver Chapter, and the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition as well as participating buildings for their commitment. In exchange for their commitment to benchmark, Denver City Energy Project participants receive formal recognition, training on how to benchmark and improve building efficiency, and assistance in engaging building occupants in improving building performance.
“We must reduce the amount of energy we use in our buildings if we’re going to achieve our 2020 sustainability goals and keep up Denver’s reputation as a sustainable city and livable community. By helping our buildings become more energy efficient, we can lower energy bills, create job opportunities, and increase our city’s resiliency,” says Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
Data gathered through benchmarking can help guide energy efficiency improvements and establish a continuous cycle of improvement. Research has shown that building owners who benchmark their buildings are more likely to make energy efficiency improvements, and on average, benchmarked buildings reduce energy use by 7 percent over three years.
In addition, the Denver City Energy Project is expected to create 4,000 jobs through the improvements generated by benchmarking.
The City of Denver has benchmarked more than 7 million square feet of municipal buildings and pledged to reduce energy use 20 percent by 2020.
In the past two years, the Brown Palace has saved 26 percent on its electricity costs and 24 percent on its natural gas costs per occupied room through a three year façade repair, HVAC upgrades, hotel culture shifts, and a focus on staff awareness.
“As an historic building, energy efficiency is one of our greatest opportunities for improvement,” says Brenna St. Onge, Sustainability Chair at the Brown Palace. “We have found that energy efficiency is one of the best investments a company can make as it keeps giving back year after year.”
An energy efficiency project at 1670 Broadway is projected to save $128,810 per year in energy costs by installing a new energy-management system (EMS). An energy management system (EMS) is a system of computer-aided tools used by building operators to monitor, control, and optimize energy performance.
“Measuring and monitoring building performance is critical to good energy performance,” said Judy Purviance-Anderson of Cushman & Wakefield and General Manager of 1670 Broadway. “Our new EMS can proactively accommodate and deliver efficient services to the building while assuring system optimization. We’ve seen our ENERGY STAR score go up by one point each month since installation.”
“Denver Metro BOMA is pleased to partner with the Denver City Energy Project to encourage building owners and managers to continue to make their buildings more energy efficient,” said Jeannie Bernard, Executive Vice President, Denver Metro BOMA. “For many years, BOMA has been at the forefront of the movement to help incentivize voluntary market-driven efforts among commercial real estate companies to reduce their use of natural resources, non-renewable energy sources and waste production.”
“The IFMA Denver Chapter is excited to work with the Denver City Energy Project to improve the energy efficiency of Denver’s buildings,” said Ellie Fargher, IFMA Denver Chapter Sustainability Committee Chair. “The partnership will be valuable for our members, providing them both tools to improve the efficiency of the facilities they manage and recognition for their work.”
“EEBC supports the project goals to grow the investment in energy-efficient buildings and create jobs in Colorado,” said Lauren Poole, Executive Director, Energy Efficiency Business Coalition.
“As more buildings take the fundamental first step of benchmarking their energy performance Xcel Energy is proud to be partnering with Denver City Energy Project to help us promote our award-winning suite of energy conservation programs,” said Jerome Davis, Regional Vice President, Xcel Energy. “The programs can help buildings increase energy efficiency, reduce operating costs, lower environmental impacts and improve the bottom line.”