Progress in energy efficiency thwartedThe Denver Post, October 28, 2014
You’ve heard of the triple bottom line for business: environmental, social and financial responsibility.
That’s our line. Zocalo Community Development has built and manages among the most energy-efficient buildings in Colorado. Zocalo earned the Denver Business Journal’s Developer of the Year award in part for our thoughtful, sustainable developments that focus not just on profit but on stewardship of energy and community. We are constantly evaluating and maintaining our properties so that they are energy and water efficient, comfortable for our residents, and an asset to the community and our investors.
Unfortunately, it is difficult in Colorado to benchmark energy use and measure the impact of energy efficiency improvements over time in some buildings. Why? Colorado has the most restrictive rules in the nation when it comes to obtaining energy use data from the state’s investor-owned utilities, according to the Regulatory Assistance Project.
In fact, for our LEED-Silver certified RiverClay condo project and LEED-Gold-certified Solera and 2020 Lawrence rental apartment projects, we have had to provide a letter stating each resident’s approval to share his/her utility energy use data, but now — with a new requirement — we must obtain this permission every year. This is the equivalent of a half-time job for one of our staff. Why should there be such hurdles to tracking improvements in building energy efficiency?