Denver council OKs $41 million program that will provide incentives for big buildings to electrify heat systems


The Denver City Council on Monday approved the biggest contract in the history of the city’s Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency office. All the money will be coming out of the city’s voter-approved, sales tax-fed climate protection fund.

The $41.4 million pact with Michaels Energy Inc. is expected to make tens of millions of dollars in incentives available to property owners seeking to install more sustainable, electric heating systems in their large commercial, apartment and condo buildings in the years ahead.

The climate action office, abbreviated CASR., has had major success with its consumer-facing rebate programs for more environmentally friendly technology. The first pot of dollars it made available to Denverites looking to buy electric bicycles was tapped out in just 19 days before that program opened up again with more money on Monday.

The arrangement the city council approved this week is focused on a different demographic: the owners of the kinds of large buildings that are major contributors to pollution in the city. The council previously adopted rules that require building owners to undertake electrification efforts by 2025 and 2027.

“Forty-nine percent of emissions in Denver come from space and water heating in commercial and multifamily buildings,” CASR’s Jeff Tejral told a city council committee last month in explaining the new incentive program.


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