The City of Denver recently approved an ordinance requiring all commercial and multifamily buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building electrification. The City Council says the ordinance makes Denver the first to require the measures for all buildings. The ordinance will make a significant dent in buildings emissions, the city says, reducing them by nearly 80% by 2040. Buildings account for 49% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and Denver has a goal of reaching net-zero energy by 2040.

The regulations were unanimously passed by the Denver City Council. They had no formal opposition and support from the local commercial real estate association. The ordinance requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to reach 30% energy savings by 2030 with interim goals for 2024 and 2027 to measure progress. The ordinance also requires gradual adoption of electric heating and cooling systems to replace gas-powered systems when cost-effective.

Additionally, the ordinance calls for buildings between 5,000 square feet and 25,000 square feet to install all LED lighting by 2030 or get at least 20% of its electricity from solar sources.

Other communities have taken on similar initiatives to improve energy efficiency. The city will hold a hearing in January to approve rules for the regulations.

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