Sharing Transparency for a More Efficient Future

Lawmakers Ponder "Full Disclosure" for CO Energy Efficiency

Public News Service
Wed, 2011-04-20

DENVER - State legislators are considering a potential new law (SB 130) that would require building owners to let prospective tenants or buyers know how energy-efficient a commercial space is. Comments from Gene Tag, owner of Denver's 1515 Restaurant.

A group of Denver-area businesses could be the model for "greener" policies statewide.

The General Assembly is considering Senate Bill 130, which would require building owners to let potential tenants or buyers know about the energy efficiency of commercial spaces.

Gene Tang, owner of the 1515 restaurant in Denver, is part of a group of restaurant owners known as "Eat Greener Denver" who are committed to making their spaces more environmentally friendly.

"We've only got that much energy, no matter how you look at it, and we've really need to go and save it for the next generations."

The proposal would take advantage of a free tool - the Energy Star Portfolio Manager - to help assess how energy is used in commercial spaces. Tang and the other Eat Greener Denver businesses did energy audits with Xcel to pinpoint areas where they could cut back on energy use - from using Energy Star appliances to better insulation and weatherstripping. Tang says the recommendations are saving his business about $2,000 a month.

Other businesses would not be required to make any changes because of the energy-consumption information. The idea is to be better informed. Tang says the fixes were expensive - but worth it.

"I was really surprised when we did all these changes. You actually will get your money back and at the same time you help out and save, actually, the usage of energy."

The bill heads to committee sometime this week. If it becomes law, it would take effect for buildings larger than 50,000 square feet next year - and for all commercial buildings by 2013. The bill's status can be checked online

Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO