Large Building Owners: Report Benchmarking Data by December 1

James Fukazawa

Colorado’s Energy Performance for Buildings law[1] requires the owners of certain large buildings in the state to collect and report the building’s energy use to the Colorado Energy Office on or before Dec. 1, 2022, and thereafter on or before June 1 of each subsequent year.[2] The law applies to buildings “comprising a gross floor area of fifty thousand square feet or more that is occupied by a single occupant or group of tenants.”[3] The owners of any such building must report at a minimum: (I) a description or descriptions of the building and its operational characteristics[4] and (II) certain data generated by the benchmarking tool including Energy Star score; monthly energy use by fuel type; site and source energy-use intensity; weather-normalized site and source energy-use intensity; confirmation of data quality; annual maximum electricity demand (in kilowatts); monthly peak electricity demand (if available); and total, indirect, and direct greenhouse gas emissions.[5]

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, violations of owner requirements for either benchmarking or sale and lease of a covered building are punishable by a  $500 fine for a first violation and up to $2,000 for each subsequent violation.[6] The Air Quality Control Commission may, however, establish civil penalties of up to $2,000 for a first violation and $5,000 for subsequent violations.

A look at the Building Performance Colorado website’s interactive map suggests compliance is off to a slow start. If you are a building owner in Colorado, use the Building ID Search Tool to find out whether your building is affected. If you own an affected building, submit your benchmarking report(s) online or request an extension or exemption at the Building Performance Colorado website.

Keep energy performance on your radar — the commission is set to adopt building performance standards in 2023.

If you have any questions about real estate matters, please contact your Sherman & Howard attorney.

[1] H.B. 21‑1286, 2021 Reg. Sess. (Colo. 2021), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25‑7‑142, effective September 6, 2021.

[2] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25‑7‑142(3) (2022).

[3] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25‑7‑142(2)(j)(I)-(II). “Covered building” does not include storage facilities, stand-alone parking garage, or airplane hangar that lacks heating and cooling; a building in which more than half of the gross floor area is used for manufacturing, industrial, or agricultural purposes; or a single-family home, duplex or triplex.

[4] Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 25‑7‑142(2)(d)(I)(A)-(E) (2022).

[5] Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 25‑7‑142(2)(d)(II)(A)-(H) (2022).

[6] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25‑7‑122(1)(i)(I).