Building Benchmarking

Denver downtown office buildings
Benchmarking and Building Performance Standards

House Bill 21-1286, “Energy Performance for Buildings,” passed the Colorado General Assembly on June 8, 2021 and went into effect on September 6, 2021. The bill requires owners of large commercial, multifamily, and public buildings 50,000 square feet or more in Colorado to report their annual energy use to the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free energy management tool used to track and assess energy and water consumption. By measuring and tracking energy use in buildings, also known as benchmarking, building owners and tenants can better understand how their building’s energy performance compares to similar buildings and identify opportunities to cut energy waste. The law also establishes building performance standards with which buildings will have to comply. A Task Force (see below) will develop recommendations for the standards and submit them for review to the CEO Executive Director and then to the Air Quality Control Commission to establish rules. 

The first benchmarking reporting deadline for building owners is December 1, 2022, for calendar year 2021 energy use data. CEO is working with Overlay Consulting to design and launch the program statewide. In the coming months, we will launch a new website with comprehensive program information, FAQs, training materials, videos, and links to exemption and waiver request forms. We will also staff a help desk to assist building owners in understanding and complying with the benchmarking requirements. Outreach to all covered building owners will commence in early 2022. Here is the covered building list (updated 11/30/2021) that Overlay compiled as a result of outreach to County Assessor offices.

Utility Data Requirements and Data Accelerator Coalition

CEO is providing one-time grants to Colorado utilities to assist them with implementing solutions to meet the data requirements outlined in HB21-1286, the Energy Performance for Buildings Law. The intent of this funding is to help utilities streamline the process of sharing aggregated energy use data with building owners and to improve benchmarking reporting compliance.

To apply for funding, please complete this application by February 15, 2022. You may reach out to Crystal Egelkamp at crystal.egelkamp@state.co.us with any questions.

The requirements for qualifying utilities as established in C.R.S. 25-7-142 (4) are as follows:

On or before June 1, 2022, a qualifying utility shall: 

  • Establish an aggregation threshold that is four or fewer utility customer accounts;
  • Publish its aggregation threshold on its public website; and
  • Upon request of an owner of a covered building, begin providing energy-use data to the owner.

Energy-use data that a qualifying utility provides an owner must be:

  • Available on, or able to be requested through, an easily navigable web portal or online request form using up-to-date standards for digital authentication, including single one-time passwords or multi-factor authentication;
  • Provided to the owner within:
    • Ninety days after receiving the owner's valid written or electronic request if the request is received in 2022;
    • Thirty days after receiving the owner's valid written or electronic request if the request is received in 2023 or later;
  • Directly uploaded to the owner's benchmarking tool account, delivered in the spreadsheet template specified by the benchmarking tool, or delivered in another format approved by the office;
  • Provided to the owner on at least an annual basis until the owner revokes the request for energy-use data or sells the covered building;
  • Provided regardless of whether the owner is named on the utility account for the covered building; and 
  • If the qualifying utility is an investor-owned utility, provided in accordance with the public utilities commission's rules concerning customer data and personally identifying information.

For covered buildings that do not meet the qualifying utility's aggregation threshold, and thus require utility customer consent to access or share energy-use data, the consent:

  • May be in written or electronic form;
  • May be provided in a lease agreement provision;
  • Is valid until the utility customer revokes it; and
  • Is not required if a utility customer vacates the covered building before explicitly denying the owner consent to access and share the utility customer's energy-use data. 

CEO formed a Utility Data Accelerator Coalition in order to educate and prepare utilities to meet future data disclosure requirements under the statewide benchmarking and energy performance statute. The Coalition provided information and assistance to utility representatives through monthly workshops from January through June 2021. We created the Colorado Utility Data Access Best Practices Guide to support utilities in their efforts to provide building owners with access to whole-building data.

Presentations, recordings (on YouTube), meeting notes, and resources for each workshop are available at the links below. 

Building Performance Standards Task Force

The Energy Performance for Buildings law directs CEO to appoint and convene a task force to develop recommendations for building performance standards (BPS) to meet sector-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets of 7% by 2026 and 20% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline. 

The BPS recommendations, which must be approved by two-thirds of the Task Force members, are due to the CEO Executive Director on or before October 1, 2022. The Executive Director will then send the recommendations to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC). 

Per statute, in developing the recommendations, the BPS Task Force shall:

  • Solicit feedback from a broad range of industries and building owners; 
  • Examine building types of unique energy needs including aviation facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals; 
  • In calculating GHG reductions, the calculation must not include savings from statewide decarbonization of electricity or natural gas utility grids, but may include savings from utilities' or local governments' energy efficiency programs.

The BPS Task Force may consider making recommendations related to: 

  • Workforce availability and development related to building energy performance; 
  • Financial and nonfinancial costs and benefits of upgraded building energy performance; 
  • Availability of programs, technical assistance, and incentives to support building owners, utilities, and local governments; 
  • Opportunities to improve commercial building energy use in Colorado; and 
  • How regulations and agency support could help ensure building owners avoid fines through compliance with performance standards.

To be added to the email list to receive BPS Task Force updates, please email Kim Burke

CEO issued a press release on September 1, 2021 announcing the members of the Task Force. The following individuals were selected. 

BPS Task Force members
Meeting Date Topic
Task Force Meeting #1 Wednesday, September 29, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:00 pm CEO BPS Task Force Kick-Off
Task Force Meeting #2 Wednesday, October 27, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:00 pm Overview of BPS and Outlining Our Work
Task Force Meeting #3 Wednesday, November 17, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Establishing the Boundaries of our BPS Policies
Task Force Meeting #3.5 Thursday, December 9, 2022 | 2:00 - 3:30 pm CO Statute Interpretations
Task Force Meeting #4 Wednesday, December 15, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Building on the BPS Metric
Task Force Meeting #5 Wednesday, January 26, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Building Data and Compliance Pathways: Energy Efficiency
Task Force Meeting #6 Wednesday, February 23rd | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Compliance Pathway Development Part 2: Renewable Energy and Electrification
Task Force Meeting #7 Wednesday, March 30, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Compliance Pathway Development Part 3: Additional Pathways
Task Force Meeting #8 Wednesday, April 27, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Workforce and Equity Considerations
Task Force Meeting #9 Wednesday, May 25, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Programs to Support Compliance
Task Force Meeting #10 Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:00 pm Review and Discuss Draft Recommendations
Task Force Meeting #11 Wednesday, July 27, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm Review and Confirm Final Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BPS Task Force meetings are scheduled for the last Wednesday afternoon of each month (except for November and December due to the holidays) from September 2021 through July 2022. Meetings are open to the public for listening via YouTube Live Stream. We will post agendas and a link to watch and listen prior to each meeting. 

Meeting #1 - Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 1-3 pm MT

Meeting #2 - Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 1-3 pm MT

Meeting #3 - Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 1-3:30 pm MT 

Interim Optional Meeting to discuss GHG reduction targets set in statute - Thursday, December 9, 2021 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm MT

Meeting #4 - Wednesday, December 15, 2021 from 1-3:30 pm MT 

Meeting #5 - Wednesday, January 26, 2022 from 1-3:30 pm MT 

Meeting #6 - Wednesday, February 23, 2022 from 1-3:30 pm MT 

Meeting #7 - Wednesday, March 30, 2022 from 1-3:30 pm MT 

Denver's Sustainability Advisory Council Buildings and Homes Committee meets on the second Monday of each month from 3:00 - 4:30 pm on Zoom. For more information, visit the City and County of Denver's Sustainability Advisory Council web page.