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Central Park neighborhood in Denver modeled for how to cut emission from buildings

Denver’s Central Park neighborhood was used as the basis for district-scale modeling in a study about how to squeeze emission from the building sector.

The model was created to evaluate the potential of integrating energy efficiency retrofit measures, distributed energy resources, and electrification at a community scale—all within an existing residential neighborhood.

The goal was to explore the benefits to both customers and the grid. The end game is meeting Colorado’s energy and climate goals.

The take-aways from the study, as described in a Colorado Energy Office press release, aren’t jaw-dropping. For example, “combining electrification with DERS and energy efficiency lowers carbon emissions and the monthly utility bill.”

Across the United States, homes are responsible for 21% of energy use. The average single-family house emits 70% more emissions than the average passenger vehicle.

Several top-tier outfits are overseeing this federally funded study: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Xcel Energy, and the Rocky Mountain Institute.


Building benchmarking website up and running

A website, Building Performance Colorado, is up and running, part of the rollout of efforts to help owners and managers of buildings comply with a 2021 law.

HB21-1286, Energy Performance for Buildings, requires owners of large commercial, multifamily, and public buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to report their whole-building energy use annually to the Colorado Energy Office. Building owners must submit energy use for 2021 by Dec. 1, 2022.

The program aims to increase energy efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector. Staff will be available on the website to assist building owners with program compliance.

Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins had prior benchmarking programs.

Allen Best
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