What the Energize Denver Rule Means for Your Business

By Matthew Bren

For Denver businesses, solar has long been a “nice-to-have.” However, with the recent announcement of the Energize Denver Rule, improving your operation’s environmental footprint is now a necessity, and solar is one of the easiest, most effective options out there. Read on to learn how solar installations can be optimized to fit your business needs while complying with the local commercial building code. Even if onsite solar isn’t the right fit for your building, there are other options, like community solar subscriptions, that building owners can take advantage of.

The “Green Building” Trend

In the past decade, there has been a movement toward environmentalism in commercial real estate, from eco-minded companies launching net-zero operations goals to local governments incorporating carbon emission requirements into building codes. The Department of Energy reports that buildings account for approximately 40% of US carbon emissions. Right here in Denver, commercial and multifamily buildings account for 49% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

This shift is also a result of changes in popular opinion. Consumer preferences have shifted dramatically in recent years, as 79% of consumers report changing their purchasing habits based on environmental impact, social responsibility, or inclusiveness. 77% of consumer product and retail companies who have adopted sustainability initiatives report that it has led to an increase in customer loyalty, and 63% report it has increased brand revenue.

The Energize Denver Rule

In addition to federal and state requirements, municipalities across the nation, including our very own City of Denver, have implemented their own unique set of commercial building energy standards that must be followed. If you own commercial property in Denver, you may have recently received a notice from the city regarding the new Energize Denver Performance Requirements and may be a bit overwhelmed by the nitty-gritty details. Of particular note for anyone involved in commercial real estate is the introduction of a net-zero by 2040 goal.

Let’s explore one example from the new rule: Section 10-404, which applies to buildings with a square footage of 25,000 or more. The first interim target date is fast approaching, with buildings in this size range facing new energy performance targets in calendar years 2024, 2027, and 2030, with the end goal of 30% total energy savings across all covered buildings. These energy savings requirements can be met in a number of ways, including by procuring solar power generation either on or off-site.

Navigating these new requirements may seem challenging, but partnering with an experienced energy company, especially one local to Denver like Pivot Energy, can make the journey much easier. Our team has extensive experience in the solar sector and knows the ins and outs of building codes in Denver and Colorado at large. In fact, Pivot Energy is the number one community solar developer in Colorado and a top US solar company.

Convenient Options: Onsite Solar vs. Offsite Solar

The first way to go solar is pretty straightforward: onsite solar installations, most likely on your rooftop. This is a great option as it provides a way to cut electricity costs and produce reliable clean energy for your facility. However, if your building is not suitable for solar installation, or you’re simply looking for the quickest, easiest option, consider community solar. Instead of putting panels on your roof, community solar is a subscription service for clean energy. You subscribe to a local solar project and receive credit on your monthly utility bill. Pivot Energy has numerous community solar projects in the Denver area, and new community solar subscription opportunities opening up around the state all the time.

By acquiring a community solar subscription of appropriate magnitude, a business can easily fulfill their renewable energy procurement requirements as outlined in the new Energize Denver rule while avoiding onsite construction and up-front cost. Another upside of this model is that solar power typically costs less on average than what the local utility charges for power, presenting an opportunity for savings.

What’s Next?

Whether your company has independently decided to go green or you’re simply eager to make your operation compliant with local building codes, it’s a great time to familiarize yourself with the options available to improve building performance. Particularly when it comes to solar, there are excellent options available that can be good for your environmental footprint and your bottom line. If you’re looking for an experienced solar partner with a depth of knowledge in the Denver market, contact the team at Pivot Energy today.

Matthew Bren is the director of business development with Pivot Energy. Contact him at



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