State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Denver, CO

69.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 9.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Denver’s 80x50 Climate Action Plan sets sustainability goals for the city.

The Office of Sustainability hosts an annual Sustainable Denver Summit where it asks the community to take ownership of the 2020 Sustainability Goals by making Commitments to Action or creating and joining an Action Team. Thus far, the community and city have made 175 commitments (51 in energy) and created 54 action teams (16 in energy). Sixty-seven percent of the 2015 commitments are completed or are on track.

Last updated: September 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city’s 80x50 Climate Action Plan sets a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. The plan also sets emissions reduction goals at five years intervals. The 2025 goal is to reduce emissions 30% below 2005 levels. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

The city released greenhouse gas emissions data on an online dashboard.

Energy Reduction Goal

The 80x50 Climate Action Plan sets a goal of reducing commercial and multifamily building energy use 50% by 2050. Like the city’s climate mitigation goal, the energy reduction goal has interim goals. The 2030 goal is to reduce energy use 30% in these buildings below a 2005 baseline. The city also has a goal to reduce energy use in single-family homes 10% by 2025.

Renewable Energy Goal

The city’s 80x50 Climate Action Plan has a goal of generating 100% of its electricity with renewable energy sources by 2030. 

Last updated: September 2021

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

Denver's Climate Action Task Force hosted 2 rounds of small community meetings with hundreds of Denverites in February and March. The city also hosted Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings in April with youth, climate activists, labor and workforce, business and industry, people vulnerable to climate impacts, and frontline communities. Additionally, the city conducted equity-driven virtual outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic via Consider. It to encourage participation in climate action planning meetings. Denver promoted access to WiFi and digital devices, offered direct phone support, and sent community liaisons into marginalized communities to encourage online participation in the meetings. At least half of these efforts were conducted in Spanish. 

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equity Accountability Measures

The Climate Protection Fund has a goal to spend 50% of the fund's budget with a lens towards equity and racial and social justice. 

Last updated: September 2021

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

The City of Denver and Xcel Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) titled the Energy Futures Collaboration. The MOU cites microgrid deployment, district energy installation, and other approaches as integral to achieving the city’s climate and energy goals.

The city is creating a low-income solar garden located at the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site. The city also received a $1 million grant to install community solar gardens at multiple city properties including parking lots, recreation centers, libraries, and schools. 

Last updated: September 2021

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

As part of its Game Plan, Denver adopted a goal to have 18% urban tree canopy coverage in the city by 2025.

UHI Policies and Programs

The city has also passed a private tree protection ordinance.

In 2018, the city adopted a Green Buildings Ordinance that required all new developments over 25,000 square feet to install a cool roof. The ordinance also requires all existing developments of the same size undergoing roof replacements to install a cool roof.

Last updated: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 26.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Denver adopted the Denver Green Code which is composed of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code with city amendments. Denver adopted a benchmarking and disclosure ordinance for commercial and multifamily buildings over 25,000. The city offers buildings incentives for both energy efficiency upgrades and solar installation. Buildings are required to comply with the Green Building Ordinance by choosing one energy action from a range of choices.

Last updated: June 2021

Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Colorado is a home rule state meaning local jurisdictions may set their own building codes, if they choose to, for both residential and commercial construction. Localities that choose to set a building code must comply with the 2003 IECC at a minimum. The Denver Green Code includes the 2018 IECC for commercial buildings and the 2015 IECC for residential buildings. 


Denver has adopted the 2018 IECC with local amendments. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 49.4.


Denver has adopted the 2015 IECC with local amendments. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 53.4.

Solar-readiness policies

Denver adopted the IECC 2018 code in 2019, including an amendment to the residential energy code requiring all residential new construction be solar ready

New buildings over 25,000 square feet must comply with the Green Buildings Ordinance which requires a cool roof plus one additional option which can be solar

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

Denver requires single- and two-family homes to be EV-ready.

Low-energy use requirements

All buildings over 25,000 square feet built in Denver must comply with Denver’s Green Building Ordinance requirements.  The GBO requires that all new buildings or additions over 25,0000 square feet take one of 8 possible actions – install a green roof or green space on their site, pay a fee in lieu of installing green space, install solar panels on 70% of the roof, build their building 12% more efficient than code, achieve LEED Gold certification, or achieve a combination of green and energy options above. 

Last updated: June 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Denver staffs one full-time employees who is solely dedicated to code compliance. The city has 120 plan reviewers and inspectors that are required to review (plan or inspection) a part of the 2018 IECC. For residential projects, Denver requires blower door tests for single-family homes, duplexes, and multifamily residential properties. The city’s commercial energy code requires building commission. Denver provides upfront support through public forums and online guidance documents.

Last updated: June 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

In December 2016, Denver city council passed the Energize Denver program that requires commercial and multifamily buildings over 25,000 square feet to report their score. The program covers 85% of commercial and multifamily buildings. 

Cross-cutting requirements

The city requires developments over 25,000 square feet to choose one energy action from a menu of option in accordance with the Green Buildings Ordinance.

Developments may choose one action to achieve compliance: incorporate a green space into the building, install solar panels or purchase renewable energy covering 100% of the building’s electricity needs, achieve LEED Silver certification or better, enroll in Energize Denver’s Energy Program, or pay a fee. If a development chooses to enroll in the Energy Program, it must achieve an ENERGY STAR score of 85 or better or improve energy use intensity by 10% if the development is under 50,000 square feet and by 15% if the develop is over 50,000 square feet within five years. 

Rental Energy Disclosure 

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective tenants and leasers. The requirement also requires disclosure at the time of lease renewal. 

Building Performance Standards 

State bill HB21-1286 sets building performance requirements for multifamily and commercial buildings greater than 50,000 square feet.

Time of Sale Requirement  

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective buyers. 


The Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program provides funding to nonprofit organizations that pursue energy efficiency improvements. Property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing is available for commercial buildings for energy efficiency projects through Colorado’s C-PACE program. The Denver Green Code and Affordable Housing Pilot Program offers expedited permit and fee reduction program for new construction. Denver also caps solar permitting fees at $50 and offers a $150 credit to any permit choosing the ERI or performance path.

Last updated: August 2021

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Denver partnered with Xcel Energy to implement a workforce development program as part of the Denver Energy Challenge that included contractor certification training, health and safety training, and business sales training from 2011 to 2017. 

The city received $100,000 in budget for 2020 to develop workforce training programs in the climate space. The city has a plan of using these funds to enable disadvantaged communities to have opportunities in the clean energy economy.

The Renewable Denver Initiative includes a paid workforce training program in partnership with GRID Alternatives. 

Last updated: August 2021

Score: 16 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Denver is the Denver Regional Transportation District. RTD-Denver also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus, and light rail service. The Denver Regional Council of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Denver, and many surrounding cities and counties. The Denver Department of Public Works is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Denver has a Sustainability Community Mobility Goal in place to provide mobility options that reduce commuting travel in Denver done in single-occupant vehicles to no more than 60% of all trips. Denver also has separate plans in place to increase the length of pedestrian walkways and trails and to increase transit access. In addition, Denver’s Mobility Action Plan was published in July 2017 and sets goals to reduce drive alone rates, emissions, and traffic deaths. The plan focuses on the key metric of reducing Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) driving rates to no more than 50% of trips, which is closely tied to VMT. The City also has a Denver Moves suite of plans that lay out detailed priorities for all transportation modes.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

Denver focuses on SOV reduction targets as opposed to VMT reduction targets.  The three main goals listed in the city's Mobility Action Plan are to have no more than 50% SOV by 2030, reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, and reduce traffic deaths to zero.  

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Denver tracks progress towards these goals in several ways. The City use the US Census ACS estimates to track SOV rates at the citywide level and supplements these national data with a citywide commuter survey in partnership with local Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) and other partners. In 2019, Denver expanded the reach of its survey and anticipates nearly 10,000 responses.

Last Updated: November 2021

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Denver has a form-based/context-sensitive zoning code to encourage mixed uses in urban centers and around transit-oriented development. Form-based elements regulate all building types. The City is currently working on a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan for development that will update and advance these policies by encouraging new developments to consider all transportation modes as opposed to only parking.

Residential Parking Policies

Denver requires 1.25 parking spaces or less per unit in suburban neighborhoods, with a complete removal of minimum requirements in some areas. Downtown developments must provide .75 spaces per unit, with a complete removal of minimum requirements in some areas. The City has recently started implementing parking maximums in several locations with transportation constraints such as the 41st & Fox TOD area. The TDM Plan will identify changes to City rules and regulations that can advance these efforts. Denver does not have parking minimums in Downtown. Denver’s first parking maximums have been adopted for River Mile in Central Platte Valley-Auraria. The maximums are part of new zoning adopted by City Council in 2018 in the Downtown Area Plan Amendment.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

In February 2018, City Council added an amendment to the zoning code for new development in the River North area: Developers are allowed to build taller if they provide community benefit including space for grocery stores, nonprofit offices, artist studios or childcare, or if they build affordable housing or pay significantly more into the city’s affordable housing fee.   

Last Updated: November 2021

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

2017 goals from the city's Mobility Action Plan to shift commuter mode share to more sustainable modes by 2030 include goals to convert 70% SOV to 50%, increase transit mode share from 7% to 15%, increase biking and walking mode share form 6% to 15%, and increase the carpool & teleworking mode share from 17% to 20%.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Denver tracks progress towards these goals in several ways. The City use the US Census ACS estimates to track SOV rates at the citywide level and supplements these national data with an employee commuter survey in partnership with local Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) and local employers at the neighborhood level. Denver’s citywide SOV rates are 75.9% according to the most recent census estimates, and Denver has yet to close its employer commuter survey for the year.

Complete Streets

Denver adopted its Complete Streets Policy in 2011. The adoption of the procedure encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all road construction and maintenance projects.

Last Updated: November 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of Denver have received $1,015,253,883.40 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $290.07 per capita between 2015 and 2019 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Denver's Transit Connectivity Index value is 7.8, scoring 1 point in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: November 2021

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Denver does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Xcel Energy's Transportation Electrification Plan offers funds for installing EV charging infrastructure. Additionally, Denver's Climate Protection Fund can fund charging infrastructure projects. 

EV Charging Locations

The City has 498 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 68.5 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Denver does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Denver does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: November 2021

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Denver does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place. However, the City is working on an Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program (ATCMTD). ATCMTD is a $12M ($6M grant, $6M match) federal grant that deploys technology to address traffic congestion and safety. One example is connected freight, which focuses on using connected vehicle technology that allows trucks to communicate with the City’s traffic signals to reduce the impact delivery and freight trucks have in local communities, increase safety, improve delivery time reliability, and provide cost savings to participating cargo companies.

The federally-designated transportation planning agency for the Denver region, DRCOG, is developing a Regional Multimodal Freight Plan. The City of Denver is involved in that regional effort to improve the efficiency of freight delivery in the Denver region, and to identify regional freight improvement projects for future state and federal funding.

Last Updated: November 2021

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Blueprint Denver, adopted in 2019, seeks to increase the development of affordable housing and mixed-income housing, particularly in areas near transit. This includes exploring a zoning incentive for affordable housing in centers and along transit corridors.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

In 2019, Denver launched an electric vehicle carshare in a mixed-income neighborhood. Throughout 2019, the City partnered with Bcycle to offer free annual bikeshare passes to Denver residents. Throughout the summer of 2019, Denver and RTD partnered to give free transit passes to children (who usually get them while in school).

Last Updated: November 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 13 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Xcel Energy (Public Service Co. of Colorado), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary gas and electric utility serving the City of Denver. In 2018, Xcel became the first large IOU to set a goal of zero carbon electricity generation by 2050 and also to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2030 company-wide. The City of Denver is an active promoter of Xcel’s energy efficiency programs. In March 2018, Denver’s Mayor and the President of Xcel Energy Colorado signed the Energy Futures Collaboration. This MOU guides a partnership focused on climate and energy goals and includes project work on efficiency, renewables, resilience, smart technology, and more. The State of Colorado requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS as well as efficiency requirements within demand-side management plans to be filed annually. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Colorado page of the State Database. On the state level, Denver strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities.

Denver Water is an independent entity providing drinking water in Denver. The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District treats Denver’s wastewater. Denver Wastewater Management is the municipal utility charged with managing Denver’s stormwater. The Denver Energy Challenge, located in the Office of Strategic Partnerships, administers the energy efficiency programs in partnership with the utilities.

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, Xcel Energy reported 472,335 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.62% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only in Denver. In 2019, Xcel spent $82,269,801 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 3.01% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, Xcel reported 6.49 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 0.49% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2019, Xcel spent $14,471,991 on natural gas energy efficiency, which equates to $11.05 per residential gas customer. These savings figures cover Xcel’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Denver.

Xcel offers natural gas and electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

The City of Denver partners with Xcel through several programs. The Denver Energy Challenge cross promotes programs through mailings and customer service. The Denver Benchmarking Ordinance helps large commercial and multifamily buildings track energy consumption to enable the market to better value energy efficiency. The Denver Green Roof Initiative aims to help reduce cooling loads, among other goals, through reduced urban heat island effects and reduced roof heat-flow through on commercial buildings. Most recently, in March 2018, Denver’s Mayor and the President of Xcel Energy Colorado signed the Energy Futures Collaboration. This MOU guides a partnership focused on climate and energy goals and includes project work on efficiency, renewables, resilience, smart technology and more.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Xcel Energy offers a portfolio of dual fuel programs to serve low-income residential customers, including the Single-Family Weatherization Program, the Low-Income Multifamily Weatherization Program, Low-Income Nonprofit Program, and Low-Income Energy Savings Kit Program. These programs provide no-cost weatherization measures through third-party product implementers. Measures include weatherstripping, insulation, replacement of inefficient furnaces and refrigerators, water efficiency measures, and installation of efficient lighting. Additionally, Xcel offers energy-savings kits to low-income customers. Xcel Energy’s low-income programs target high energy users and elderly customers and streamline eligibility through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program income qualifications. Xcel Energy partners with the Colorado Energy Office and Energy Outreach Colorado, which actively work on low-income customer programs.

Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) implements the utility’s low-income programs. Xcel Energy partners with the Colorado Energy Office and Energy Outreach Colorado, which actively work on low-income customer programs. EOC leverages funds from utility rebates, government funding, and donor funds to address health and safety and other needed repairs and measures. Xcel Energy provides $275,000 in utility funds per year to address health and safety threats tied to energy savings, such as boiler and furnace tune-ups, replacements, and water heater replacements.  Additionally, Xcel offers energy-savings kits to low-income customers. Xcel Energy’s low-income programs target high energy users and elderly customers and streamline eligibility through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program income qualifications.

The City of Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships (DOSP) supports the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program, which offers energy efficiency services and funding to low-income residential property owners and nonprofits in the City.

In 2019, Xcel Energy saved 7,028 MWh and 0.78 MMtherms of energy, while spending $3,855,148 and $3,863,558 on its electric and natural gas low-income programs, respectively. Xcel Energy served 9,061 electric and 5,260 natural gas customers. Households served include those receiving energy-saving kits and those participating in weatherization programs.

Multifamily Programs

Xcel offers the Multifamily Weatherization Program. This comprehensive program provides funding for a wide variety of natural gas and electric equipment retrofits, process improvements, facility audits and studies for low-income multifamily buildings. The company's rebates supplement federal weatherization grants to produce incremental, cost-effective natural gas and electric savings. Each submitted project is evaluated using a custom analysis by the company's energy efficiency engineers to determine cost-effectiveness. In some cases, rebates for additional energy-saving equipment are also made available.

In 2019, Xcel Energy’s Multifamily program saved 8,906 MWh and 0.21 MMtherms of energy, while spending $1,389,644 and $542,110 on its electric and natural gas multifamily programs, respectively. Xcel served 1,998 electric housing units and 24 electric multifamily properties. Xcel served 2,738 natural gas housing units and 37 multifamily properties.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Xcel Energy does provide free automatic upload of monthly energy bill data to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts, including aggregated whole building data for buildings with four or more tenants.

The City of Denver regularly intervenes in Colorado Public Utility Commission proceedings regarding Xcel's energy efficiency portfolio and plans to advocate for policies that more easily allow utility customers to share their own data with a third party for analysis. The City and County of Denver also advocates for better aggregation standards, whole building data access, and improved community energy reports. Additionally, as part of the City Energy Project, Denver worked to accelerate access to energy data to improve building efficiency.

The city of Denver and Xcel Energy provide community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through Xcel’s Community Energy Reports on an annual basis.

Last Updated: July 2021

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In December 2018, Xcel Energy set a goal to provide customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. They also include an interim goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. To achieve this goal, Xcel Energy will need to reduce emissions by 6.1% annually from 2019 levels in the state of Colorado.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City of Denver actively participate in regulatory proceedings to advocate for a rapid and equitable decarbonization of Xcel Energy’s Colorado grid and to expand and increase access to voluntary renewable electricity programs. Denver is a currently an intervenor and active participant in several PUC proceedings that could significantly impact ratepayers in Denver and the ability for Denver to achieve our clean electricity targets.

Denver is also launching an initiative to leverage municipal space to provide geographically and socio-economically diverse locations at which to locate community solar gardens, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has invited Denver to submit a full application to the Renewable and Clean Energy Challenge grant program. Denver is requesting up to $5 million dollars to support implementation of the initiative. The initiative supports 1) renewable energy generation; 2) resilience; 3) energy burden relief and cost savings; 4) zero emissions vehicles; 5) community-engagement; and 6) education. It is intended create a blueprint, founded on community-engagement and equity considerations, for other Colorado communities to follow.

In January 2018, the city and county of Denver and Xcel Energy signed an innovative and progressive partnership agreement called the Energy Futures Collaboration. This partnership lays out an expedited pathway for Denver to pursue independent clean energy projects that help the city meet its energy and climate goals in partnership with Xcel Energy. The City and Xcel Energy participate in each other’s stakeholder groups through the Energy Future Collaboration.

The strategic efforts related to achieving 100% renewable electricity, community wide are to: 1) increase voluntary RE participation; 2) decarbonize the grid mix; and 3) develop local community-based renewable energy projects. Denver and Xcel Energy are working to finalize our 2020 Workplan (to be released in December 2019), which will include the development of municipally-hosted community solar gardens as a priority implementation project.

Last Updated: July 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Denver Water partnered with Xcel Energy on Xcel’s Commercial Refrigeration Efficiency pilot program by providing efficient water pre-rinse spray valves when applicable as well as water efficiency information. Xcel also offers measures that reduce energy and water use, including low-flow showerheads, aerators, clothes washers and dishwashers. Denver Water offers free water audits to all customers as well as toilet and irrigation rebates and incentives.

Denver’s 2020 water quantity goal is to reduce per capita potable water use by 22% from 2001 (to 165 GPCD). That goal has been achieved and the city is finalizing a new water savings plan with goals.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

Denver Water has not yet established a specific goal for energy efficiency in water services. Denver Water has implemented several energy efficiency initiatives at its pumping stations and reports its greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry. As part of Denver Water’s comprehensive Operations Complex Redevelopment plan, overall energy use is expected to decrease by 5% annually. Additionally, Denver Water participates in Xcel Energy’s Process Efficiency program to identify opportunities for energy conservation specific to pumping operations. The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District also participates in Xcel Energy’s Process Efficiency program to identify opportunities for energy conservation specific to wastewater operations.

The Metro Wastewater District operates a 5 MW combined heat and power (CHP) system that captures methane gas and generates electricity used on-site. The National Western Center redevelopment is striving for net zero energy and will utilize the waste heat from Metro Wastewater’s Delgany line.

Last Updated: July 2021

Local Government Score:
4 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Executive Order No. 123 established Denver’s Office of Sustainability. The Office is responsible for establishing sustainability goals and thus released the 2020 sustainability goals for both the community and local government.

Climate Mitigation Goal

Denver’s city government established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations to less than 354,000 MTCO2e by 2020. Progress towards municipal climate goals can be found on the city’s 2017 Progress Report. This goal has now expired. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The city’s 2020 municipal goals establish an energy reduction target of 20% below 2011 usage. The city also participates in the Better Buildings Challenge. This goal has now expired. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city has set a goal to achieve 100% renewable energy for municipal operations by 2025. The city also has a goal to double renewable energy produced from city facilities over the 2012 baseline.

Last updated: May 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Per Executive Order 3 regarding the Motor Vehicle Program for the City and County of Denver, the Acquisition of all Fleet Vehicles is to be done in accordance with Executive Order 123  (EO 123).  EO 123 requires the purchase of hybrids and the most fuel-efficient vehicles available for the light duty fleet wherever cost and reliability are similar. Additionally, Mayor Michael B. Hancock committed the city during the Sustainable Denver Summit on November 14th, 2016 to purchase at least 200 plug-in electric vehicles within the public works and safety departments by the end of 2020. This city monitors the use of its public fleet through the FASTER asset management data base software, which incorporates GPS technology to increase public fleet efficiency. Denver also uses Zonar as a GPS tracking technology within the Public Works, Parks and Facilities fleet. The technology is deployed on about 500 vehicles so far. Denver’s fleet is composed of 7% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles.  Denver’s fleet is composed of 7.0% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric. 

Public Lighting

Denver has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Streetlights are owned by the electric utility, Xcel Energy. Denver is continuing to work with Xcel to complete a comprehensive LED replacement program for municipal streetlights. The city has completed Cobrahead conversions to LEDs for 27,771 of 44,000 total streetlights in Denver, approximately 63%.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

Denver has installed 1508 kW of onsite solar capacity on city facilities. 

Inclusive procurement 

While we were unable to verify that the policy had been applied to energy projects, Denver's has an inclusive contracting ordinance that sets goals for Minority and Women Business Enterprise contracting in city projects.

Last updated: May 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

The City of Denver has benchmarked 100% of public buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio manager, which amounts to approximately 10.5M square feet. Additionally, the city tracks the energy use of all of its buildings through EnergyCap. Energize Denver maps all benchmarked buildings.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

Near the end of 2014, the City had completed a Facility Condition and Assessment Program to review the overall condition of every city facility and determine where appropriate improvements should take place. The City is continuing its Facility Condition and Assessment Program. Information derived from these audits will be prioritized for implementation based on feasibility and available funding. The City is currently working to implement performance contracts with multiple Energy Service Companies to develop energy conservation measures for evaluation and review. The City recently completed the implementation phase of its first Energy Performance Contract (EPC).  This contract totaled approximately $2M, covering 14 buildings of various functions, and has a projected payback of approximately 15 years. 

Last updated: May 2021