Denver to electrify large buildings to cut carbon emissions – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-11-24 13:19:35 –

It’s just a lighter push than some other azure cities (cough, Berkeley, cough).

Kevin J. Beatty / Denverite

The Denver City Council has unanimously approved a new ordinance for supercharging large buildings in the city in its latest attempt to combat climate change.

Most commercial buildings and apartments in the city now use natural gas, a methane-based fossil fuel, to heat water and warm indoor spaces. This measure requires the owner to replace these systems with electrical replacements when they reach the end of their useful life. Buildings over 25,000 square feet will also need to reduce their overall energy usage by 30% by 2030.

“This is a huge problem because commercial and multi-family buildings account for almost half of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Katrina, building team leader for climate behavior, sustainability and resilience offices. Managan says. “This ordinance plans to reduce that by 80% by 2040.”

According to Managan, the city has created an ordinance with the New Building Institute, a Portland-based advocacy group that monitors local governments’ efforts to tackle climate change throughout the county. The organization believes that Denver is the first to require electric heating equipment in an existing building at the time of replacement.

This rule applies because many climate scientists are calling for “electricity of everything” to promote the best use of carbon-free energy sources such as wind and solar. Denver will follow the advice, but so far it has adopted a playbook that is different from other deep blue cities like Berkeley, California.

2019 California Community Grabbed the headline When the connection of natural gas in a new construction is prohibited. Denver does not ban natural gas, Use that building code Encourage electric stoves and heaters over the next 10 years and set requirements for new homes in 2024 and new commercial buildings in 2027.

To reach an existing building strategy, the city has formed a task force with members of the Xcel Energy, environmental groups, building owners, unions, oil and gas industries. August, group Recommended Another step-by-step strategy with some wiggle room for private companies.

The final ordinance, approved on Monday, will require large building owners to replace some equipment, such as natural gas furnaces and individual water heaters, with electric heat pumps after 2025. 2027.

Under the rules, building owners can apply for an exemption even if the electric heat pump system is significantly more expensive than a natural gas alternative. Gas-powered appliances can also be stored as a secondary heat source and are ready to use, especially on cold days.

“As a city, we are always looking to the community and helping to find a balance between boldness and practicality,” says Managan.

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