Buildings 5,000-24,999 sq. ft.

Buildings 5,000 to 24,999 sq. ft., do not have to send annual Benchmarking Reports or meet an energy use intensity performance requirement. Instead, these buildings have two options* to comply with Energize Denver:  

  • Improve Lighting: Certify that a minimum of 90% of the building’s total lighting load is provided by LED lights, or that all lighting meets 2019 Denver Building and Fire Code for lighting power density


  • Improve Energy Source: Utilize on- or off-site renewable power generation to meet a minimum of 20% of the building’s annual site energy usage

*Building owners do not have to do both options, only one is required for compliance.

Building the Program with Community Input

We designed the compliance pathways for this program with building owners in mind. We held engagement sessions with building owners and property managers to understand their priorities and concerns. We talked to service providers to hear what barriers they thought we could face and how to counter them. We talked to Equity Priority populations to find out how our compliance options can be equitable. We asked how our program can help frontline communities thrive. These hours of conversation led to some key program design choices. We heard you, and we are still listening to your feedback. 

  • We heard: LED lighting upgrades and solar energy may not be cost-effective in some buildings. There are sometimes better energy efficiency upgrades that owners can pursue. Denver should allow building owners to reduce carbon emissions in other ways.  
    • The response: We developed an alternate compliance pathway for buildings where LEDs or renewable energy are not good options. Owners can find comparable ways to cut carbon emissions that make sense for their building. The alternative upgrades need to result in at least a 15% reduction in annual energy usage.  
  • We heard: Condo buildings with many owners will face challenges in meeting either of the two compliance standards. 
    • The response: We developed an alternate compliance pathway specific to condos. This compliance pathway allows HOAs to address common spaces instead individual units.  
  • We heard: Many of the building owners who must comply are not native English speakers. They might have a hard time accessing information. 
  • We heard: Taking on the cost of compliance is a burden that many building owners can't manage. Owners don’t have time to navigate the maze of rebates and support programs available.  
    • The response: We compiled a robust list of resources for building owners. You can find resources specific to your building type. It includes:
      • Free resources (like energy audits)
      • Rebate and incentive opportunities
      • Energy efficiency-specific financing opportunities.

      We are always adding resources as we learn about them.  

  • We heard: The compliance process is complex. The exact steps that buildings need to take for compliance are unclear.  
    • The response: Our Compliance Guide is now here to walk you through the process step-by-step. The guide will help you no matter what compliance pathway you have chosen. It is in plain language and includes all forms that you must fill out and all submission links. If you have other questions, we are always happy to assist you! Email us at or call our help desk at (844) 536-4528. 
  • We heard: Building owners and managers don’t know how to find a contractor who understands the compliance requirements. 
    • The response: We have developed a Trained Service Provider list. We cannot vouch for the services of any listed contractor. Those on this list have taken our trainings and passed a quiz on the compliance requirements.  
  • We heard: This program will put undue stress on low-income building owners and frontline, equity-priority communities. 
    • The response: We are currently designing our support program for Equity Priority Buildings. We expect that services will launch in summer 2024.