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Building performance standards rule

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings

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Colorado buildings

Overview

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To address climate change, Colorado statute set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state. Using 2005 levels as a baseline, the targets aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050. Buildings are one of the five largest sources of greenhouse gases in Colorado, so making buildings more energy efficient is an important way to help the state reach these goals. 

 

The Energy Performance for Buildings Act adopted in 2021 also requires Colorado’s largest buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% by 2026 and 20% by 2030, when compared to 2021 levels. To help meet these goals, the Air Pollution Control Division proposed a rule to create building performance standards. In 2022 and 2023, the division and the Colorado Energy Office completed five months of public engagement and feedback on the proposed rule. In January 2023, the division requested a rulemaking hearing with the Air Quality Control Commission, and the commission scheduled it for May 2023. During its April 2023 meeting, the commission voted to continue and reschedule the hearing for August 2023. This was in response to a legislative proposal to change the deadline for when the rule had to be adopted and based on feedback from stakeholders who requested more time to prepare for the hearing.

 

In August 2023, the Air Quality Control Commission approved the Building Performance Standards Rule. It applies to commercial, multifamily, and public buildings 50,000 square feet or larger. Affected building owners must continue to report how much energy they use every year to the Colorado Energy Office, using a free online tool. Owners of buildings that did not already meet standards need to find ways to reduce how much energy they use or make changes to the energy sources to help meet the statutory greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2026 and 2030.

Additional resources

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Basic Fact Sheet on the Building Performance Standards Rulemaking

Building Performance Colorado program (Colorado Energy Office)

 

In compliance with statutory requirements, the Colorado Energy Office convened a task force that provided recommendations for statewide building performance standards to the Governor, General Assembly, and Air Quality Control Commission on October 1, 2022. The task force shared its recommendations in a publicly available presentation.