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Top Energy Star Cities: Denver ranked No. 9

Energy Star: Denver ranked No. 9
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Energy Star: Denver ranked No. 9.

Energy Star savings equivalent to electricity used by 58,000 homes annually.

Only one apartment building made the Energy Star list.

Energy Star
Denver ranked ninth on the most recent Energy Star list.

Denver has made the top 10 “green” list once again.

Denver was ranked No. 9 on the EPA’s 2016 list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings. The list was released on Thursday.

Denver also was ranked No. 9 in the 2015 ranking.

The 2016 Top Cities list ranks cities according to how many buildings in their area earned Energy Star certification in 2015.

Washington, D.C. was ranked No. 1 with 686 buildings.

To qualify for the Energy Star, a building must outperform 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide, by earning an Energy Star score of 75 or higher on a 1-100 scale.

In 2015, 215 buildings in the Denver area earned the Energy Star ranking. Of those, 70 percent, or 151 of them, were offices. Offices dwarfed the next two biggest asset categories on the list, schools and retail stores, which had 40 and 16, respectively.

Only one apartment building, the 250-unit Premier Lofts, at 2200 Market St., made the Energy Star list.

Denver ranked fifth for total certified square footage per capita.

The Denver buildings had a total square footage of 47 million square feet. Together, the cost savings was $52 million.

The energy savings is the equivalent of saving the electricity used by 58,000 homes annually. Only Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Houston topped Denver by that metric.

Denver provides building owners and managers with the technical guidance, best practices, and training they need to make their buildings more energy efficient, save money, and reduce carbon emissions.

“We are fully committed to working with our local business leaders to reduce our carbon footprint, spend less on energy, and continue to lead the nation toward a more sustainable future,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.

Energy Star
Premier Lofts in downtown Denver was the only apartment building on the most recent Energy Star list.

“This work is critical to our own sustainability goals here in Denver and we’re proud to have that work recognized by being named a top 10 cities for energy-efficient buildings,” Hancock added.

Energy Star certification in Denver has been bolstered by the Denver City Energy Project which launched in late 2014.

Its goal is to unlock $1.3 billion in energy savings by encouraging commercial and multifamily building owners and managers to benchmark their buildings’ energy use using Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool.

“EPA is pleased to recognize Denver among America’s top cities paving the path toward a more energy-efficient economy,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the Energy Star Commercial & Industrial program. “Denver and the other top cities continue to demonstrate the economic, public health, and environmental benefits of simple, cost-effective reductions in energy use,” Lupinacci added.

To date, the Denver City Energy Project benchmarking program has 109 enrolled buildings representing 21 million square feet of commercial and multi-family space in Denver.

However, Denver is just beginning to tap into the City’s potential. Current participants still account for only 5.4 percent of the square footage of buildings over 10,000 square feet in the city.

Energy Star
Denver wants to unlock $1.3 billion in energy savings in buildings.

Denver Metro BOMA’s Watts to Water program also offers training to building owners and managers on how to use Energy Star Portfolio Manager and updates them on the most recent rebates and incentives for energy and water conservation.

In addition, the Denver 2030 District, an interdisciplinary public-private-nonprofit collaborative, is working to create a groundbreaking high performance building district in downtown Denver.

One company committed to sustainability is Seattle-based Unico Properties.

Unico’s holdings in Denver include Writer Square, the Root Building, the Zang Building, U.S. Bancorp Tower and 17th and Larimer.

“As an owner with a commitment to sustainable building design and operations, we have benchmarked 100 percent of our 2.4 million square foot portfolio of owned and managed properties in Denver,” said Adam Knoff, Senior Sustainability Manager for Unico.

“In doing so, we have unearthed opportunities for additional energy cost savings that benefit our buildings, our tenants, and our communities,” Knoff said.

“Likewise, combining this work with our Denver 2030 District partners and programs, we have helped drive down the cost of doing business in Denver while decreasing our impact on the environment,” he added.

Nationwide Energy Star Snapshot

More than 27,000 buildings across the U.S. earned EPA’s Energy Star by the end of 2015.

These buildings saved more than $3.8 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of nearly 2.6 million homes.

Commercial buildings that apply for EPA’s Energy Star must have their performance verified by a professional engineer or a registered architect. Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. DenverRealEstateWatch.com is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

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