The Energize Denver ordinance was passed by Denver City Council on November 22, 2021. It establishes partial electrification requirements for all existing commercial and multifamily buildings when replacing gas-fired space and water heating and cooling equipment. This happens:
These electrification requirements will change the way you prepare and apply for building permits, along with changing the types of equipment you are allowed to install when you replace your space and water heating, and cooling systems. The first set of changes go into effect on March 1, 2023.
Requirements will phase in over time, through updates to the Denver Building Code.
DISCLAIMER: The information below should be considered a summary of the code requirements only. If you will be replacing your heating or cooling equipment, we highly recommend that you read the full Energize Denver Ordinance and the full Denver Building and Fire Code updates when they are passed.
See the full Ordinance language
Starting March 1st, 2023, the permit process for replacing a unitary air conditioner or condensing unit, natural gas heating system, or natural gas water heater in commercial and multifamily buildings will change. These systems will no longer be allowed to go through the quick permit process. Instead, the process to replace these systems with a like-for-like replacement will become the same as the permit process for heat pumps.
Learn more about the city's permitting process
I'm ready to submit my permit application
No later than January 1, 2025, the Denver Building and Fire Code will be amended to expand the electrification requirements:
There will be exemptions to these requirements for emergency replacement and economic hardship: You may qualify for an exemption if replacing your gas-fired equipment with electric equipment will cost 15% or more than a like-for-like gas-fired replacement. This includes all incentives and rebates, as well as the social cost of carbon dioxide from gas-fired equipment. Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency will review your exemption request and make a final decision.
No later than January 1, 2027, the Denver Building and Fire Code will be amended to further expand the electrification requirements:
As with the 2025 updates, there will be exemptions for emergency replacement and economic hardship available. Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency will review exemption applications to make a final determination.
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