The City of Aspen is committed to reducing its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2030 and 100% (zero carbon) by 2050. Since buildings account for 58% of Aspen's total greenhouse gas emission with 25% coming from commercial structures, we are doubling down on our efforts to reduce our carbon “blueprint”.
Know Your Building. Know Your Power.
The City of Aspen is committed to reducing its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Since buildings account for 58% of Aspen's total greenhouse gas emission with 25% coming from commercial structures, we are doubling down on our efforts to reduce our carbon “blueprint”.
Building IQ is a City of Aspen program that helps commercial and multi-family buildings save energy in a community-wide effort to keep our city, and our planet, healthy and thriving. Through Building IQ, Aspen is joining thousands of cities worldwide that are working on innovative policies to reduce building energy use through benchmarking and building performance standards policies.
Benefits of Building IQ
Through the Building IQ program, building owners can expect to:
- Conserve energy
- Help manage your building
- Identify short- and long-term savings
- Support global climate action
- Market as a green building
- Inform City of Aspen energy programs
The first step to saving energy in buildings is to benchmark — that is, to measure and compare a building’s energy to similar buildings, past consumption, or a reference performance level. The simple act of benchmarking can decrease energy use by 2 - 3% per year, a modest but meaningful reduction.
Benchmarking your building is actually straightforward and simple. Watch these tutorials to learn how to set up an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account, input data, and more.
- Who will be required to implement benchmarking?
Those who manage large commercial and multi-family buildings can expect to start benchmarking in 2022 per a new City ordinance. The exact square footage of buildings required to benchmark and by when is still being discussed by Aspen City Council. The City and our partners are available to help you get started and sustain your benchmarking goals.
- When will the program start?
We are hopeful that the program will begin in the spring of 2022. City-owned buildings will comply immediately, then large commercial buildings will be phased in based on square footage. Large multi-family buildings will follow. A final timeline will be determined prior to Aspen City Council’s anticipated program approval in January 2022. The deadline for reporting data wouldn’t be until mid-2023.
- What do building owners need to do?
To benchmark, building owners will need to coordinate the entry of natural gas, electric, and water utility data into Energy Star Portfolio Manager. This free online tool is currently used by nearly 25% of commercial buildings in the U.S. to benchmark their energy use - turning utility bill information into knowledge you can act on.
- How much will it cost?
There is no charge to the building owners or to the City of Aspen to use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager platform to benchmark.
- Why should I benchmark?
In addition to it soon being a law in Aspen, there are multiple reasons benchmarking benefits you and the community. Through the Building IQ program, building owners can expect to:
- Conserve energy.
- Help manage your building.
- Inform City of Aspen energy programs.
- Market as a green building.
- Support global climate action.
- Identify short- and long-term savings.
Building Performance Standards
The second step in the Building IQ program is called Building Performance Standards (BPS). A BPS is a policy that requires building owners to meet performance targets for energy use by actively improving their buildings over time. Requiring reductions from existing buildings helps achieve decarbonization goals because the majority of commercial and residential building stock that will be standing in 2050 is already built. From a building owner's perspective, BPS provides flexibility as owners can use whatever technologies and operational strategies they decide are most effective and economical to meet the target. Multiple state and local governments have passed BPS policies, including Washington D.C., New York City, St. Louis, and Colorado and Washington states.
The BPS policy details for the City of Aspen have not been defined, yet. We are interested in getting feedback from community stakeholders and will be starting stakeholder engagement beginning in 2022 with the goal of collecting input to implement policies the following year, in 2023. Technical and financial resources will be available to help aid in the process.
Download the Building IQ informational attachment to access additional benchmarking and building performance standards resources.