Sharing Transparency for a More Efficient Future


Policy Description:

Adopted by the Boulder City Council on October 20, 2015, the Boulder Building Performance Ordinance (No. 8071) requires owners of commercial and industrial buildings to do the following:

1. Annually rate and report the energy use of their buildings;

2. Perform periodic energy assessments;

3. Perform periodic retrocommissioning and implement cost effective energy efficiency measures; and

4. Implement one-time lighting upgrades.

The policy also requires city buildings over 5,000 square feet and new buildings over 10,000 square feet to perform the above actions.

Industrial campuses served by one central plant where the buildings aren't individually metered must comply with custom requirements. They must annually give Xcel Energy permission to aggregate their campus' energy use with other campuses by fuel type. This aggregated information is then shared with the city. Campuses must also email a narrative to the City of Boulder that will be shared with the public. The narrative includes: Campus energy usage and emission reduction goals and a summary of energy efficiency or on-site renewable energy projects implemented in the reporting year that the owner would like to share with the public. Finally, campuses must share the following information with the city via in-person meeting: a qualitative comparison of energy usage in the reporting year with the preceding year and an explanation of the reasons for any changes and a calculation of the percentage of total energy savings during the reporting year. 

Enacted Date:
Authority in Charge:
City Manager
Tool Name:
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
Building Types Affected Size Compliance Deadline
Public/Government Greater Than or Equal To 5,000 Sq. Feet 2016-05-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 50,000 Sq. Feet 2016-08-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 30,000 Sq. Feet 2018-06-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 20,000 Sq. Feet 2020-06-01
New buildings over 10,000 square feet must report benchmarking data by August 1, 2016. Large industrial campuses must report by June 1, 2016.
Number of Buildings Affected:
Floor Area Affected:
26,000,000 Sq. Feet
Required Transparency:
Public Website
Transparency Trigger:
Date Certain
Required Reporting:

Utility Requirements/Support:

Utility Requirements/Support:




Compliance Enforcement:
Penalties for Non-Compliance:
Failure to comply with the ordinance can result in fines of $0.0025 per square foot up to $1,000 per day of non-compliance.
Additional Program Information:
Energy audits, called energy assessments in Boulder's ordinance, are required every ten years. Performance Exemptions: Energy Star Certification; LEED O+M; Pattern of significant improvement in efficiency or GHG emissions
Buildings must perform retrocommissioning every ten years and within two years of the completion of the study must implement retrocommissioning measures that are likely to produce energy and maintenance savings in a two year period in excess of the cost of implementing the measure, less the cost of any rebates. Performance Exemptions: Energy Star Certification; LEED O+M; Pattern of significant improvement in efficiency or GHG emissions
Additional Information:
Boulder requires every owner of a covered property to implement a one-time lighting upgrade within 5 years of the first benchmarking deadline.