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Colorado Latest State to Pass Energy Performance for Buildings Bill

The Colorado General Assembly recently passed bill HB21-1286, Energy Performance for Buildings. This makes Colorado the latest state to pass such a law, joining New York (Local Law 97), California (Building Energy Efficiency Standards), and other states in the battle against climate change.

Requirements of the Bill

Section 1 of the Colorado bill requires owners of large buildings to collect and report the building’s energy use on an annual basis to the Colorado energy office. Certain electric and gas utilities are also required to provide energy-use data to building owners when requested.

Section 1 also requires that, on or before June 1, 2027, a building owner demonstrate that, in 2026, their building met the energy performance for buildings standards set forth in the bill. The building owner must then demonstrate compliance with the performance standards every 5 years after June 1, 2027. These standards may be modified by a task force consisting of building owners and professionals, utility representatives, and local government representatives.

The energy office will assist building owners with the reporting requirements set forth in section 1 by:

  • Creating a database of buildings and owners required to comply with section 1
  • Tracking compliance with the program and providing a list of noncompliant building owners to the division of administration in the department of public health and environment
  • Developing publicly available, digitally interactive maps and lists showing the energy-use and performance-standard data reported
  • Coordinating with any local government that implements its own energy benchmarking requirements or energy performance program, including coordination of reporting requirements

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Section 4 of the bill imposes penalties for violations of section 1 of up to $500, up to $2,000, or up to $5,000, depending on whether the violations are first violations or subsequent violations. Owners of certain types of public buildings are exempt from paying the penalties.

What Does All This Mean for Your Company?

If your company or organization has facilities in Colorado, you’ll have to begin figuring out how you will monitor and manage your energy use. But even if you don’t have buildings in The Centennial State, the passing of the bill is still significant. It shows that regulations on energy performance for buildings are becoming more and more common. If your state doesn’t already have such regulations, expect them to be passed in the near rather than distant future.

How Can You Monitor and Manage Energy Use in Your Building(s)?

It’s important to understand where your building(s) stand so you can evaluate potential future penalties, allocate budgets, evaluate financing options, and analyze strategies to reduce energy use and emissions, as well as evaluate alternative compliance paths such as REC purchasing and clean distributed energy generation. EnergyWatch’s energy and sustainability management software, WatchWire, is a full-service utility data management and reporting platform that automatically acquires your invoice data, provides real-time data monitoring so you can see exactly when and where your building(s) are using energy, and offers measurement and verification technology to calculate the success of your efficiency projects at reducing energy use. WatchWire also provides reports to analyze potential penalties so you can evaluate energy management and procurement options now and in the future. Contact us or take a look at our solution brief to learn more.