A Partnership between NAIOP Colorado, Denver Water and Xcel Energy
NAIOP Colorado’s ResourceSmart Colorado initiative is a precedent-setting program bringing together three leading Colorado organizations in pursuit of a common goal: to make office buildings, warehouses and other commercial real estate in the Denver-metro area more energy and water-efficient. By joining forces, these three organizations have a unique opportunity to reduce the amount of valuable resources consumed in Colorado’s commercial buildings:
- The Colorado chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is one of the largest and most active chapters in the country with approximately 800 members representing the owners and key decision-makers of the region’s commercial real estate industry.
- Xcel Energy is Colorado’s largest electricity and natural gas utility, serving more than 1.6 million customers. Its business customers in Colorado consume more than 19 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 414 million therms of natural gas each year.
- Denver Water serves more than 1.3 million customers in the Denver metro area. Its customers use more than 225,000 acre feet of water each year, 20 percent of which is used by the commercial sector.
By coming together, these three groups have the ability to make a real difference in improving the energy and water efficiency of Colorado’s commercial real estate.
Why is this important?
The United States commercial real estate sector is a major consumer of energy and water resources:
- The commercial sector uses an estimated 10 billion gallons of water each day in the United States and has the potential for enormous water conservation opportunities, from fixture replacements to food service appliances to efficient cooling systems.
- Denver Water’s commercial customers use more than 14.7 billion gallons of water each year, enough water to pour one foot of water onto 45,000 football fields.
- Commercial buildings consume 36 percent of all the electricity produced in the country and account for 18 percent of total U.S. energy consumption.
- The carbon dioxide emissions created by U.S. commercial buildings alone are roughly equivalent to all the carbon dioxide emitted by Australia, New Zealand and South Korea combined.
In this day of climate change and increasingly scarce supplies of water and other natural resources, it is more important than ever that office buildings, warehouses and other commercial real estate are as efficient as possible when it comes to electricity and water consumption. Furthermore, during these tough economic times, businesses need to find ways to lower costs and improve their bottom line. Both Xcel Energy and Denver Water offer a number of rebates and incentives that help building owners achieve both objectives.
- The conservation rebates and incentives offered by Xcel Energy have saved Colorado businesses nearly $25 million a year in energy costs. For example, Xcel Energy’s Lighting Efficiency and Motor Efficiency rebate programs helped customers save more than 90 GWh of electricity in 2008 alone, equivalent to the amount of power used by 12,000 homes in Colorado each year. sed by 12,000 homes in Colorado each year.
- Beginning in 2009, the potential to save money is even greater because Xcel Energy has more than doubled the number of energy efficiency rebate programs, significantly raised the rebate amounts and expanded the list of equipment and processes that qualify for rebates.
- Denver Water pays commercial buildings up to $40,000 for water saved through increased efficiency. ,000 for water saved through increased efficiency.
- It offers large rebates for cooling tower equipment, which typically accounts for about 25% of an office building’s water consumption. It also offers rebates for installing water efficient toilets and urinals because water use in restrooms consumes another 25% of water consumption within an office building.
While these programs have already met with great success, the challenge is making sure that the right people in the commercial real estate sector know about them. That is where NAIOP Colorado comes in.
How will this partnership help?
NAIOP Colorado will connect Xcel Energy and Denver Water with the key decision makers of the commercial real estate industry. Through a variety of forums, events, a web site, and other programs and communication tools, NAIOP Colorado will help introduce its members to the most efficient and cost-saving conservation programs and cutting-edge green building practices. By giving the leaders of the commercial real estate sector the tools they need to conserve, ResourceSmart Colorado has the potential to create unprecedented change in promoting greener, more environmentally friendly practices in Colorado’s office buildings, warehouses and other commercial real estate.
About the Partners
NAIOP Colorado has long been an advocate of building green, and the organization is dedicated to doing its part to help protect our planet's valuable resources. The 800 members who make up the Colorado chapter represent the owners and key decision-makers of the region's commercial real estate industry.
Environmental stewardship is a fundamental value at Xcel Energy. It has developed award-winning energy efficiency rebate programs and has become the No. 1 wind power provider in the nation. Xcel Energy has already implemented a multitude of conservation programs aimed at reducing electricity consumption by 425 gigawatt-hours and natural gas consumption by 721,000 dekatherms before 2011.
Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and promotes its efficient use to 1.3 million people in the City of Denver and many surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, it is Colorado's oldest and largest water utility. Denver Water is committed to reducing overall water use to 165 gallons per capita per day by 2016, a 22-percent reduction from average pre-drought use.
For more information on Denver Water's efficiency programs, rebates and incentives, please visit the following:
Denver Water Conservation
Denver Water Conservation Rebates
Denver Water Commercial, Industrial & Institutional Incentive Programs
For more information on Xcel Energy's efficiency programs, rebates and incentives for businesses, please visit the following:
Xcel Energy Colorado Efficiency Programs and Rebates for Businesses
Relevant Articles & Resources
ResourceSmart Colorado helps building owners get green
ResourceSmart Colorado aids environment, cuts costs - Colorado Real Estate Journal, May 5-18, 2010
Turning to water conservation to save energy - The New York Times, May 17, 2010
Consider the waterwise options - Colorado Real Estate Journal, June 16-July 6, 2010
The Nature of Business: The energy cost of water - Summit Daily News, July 6, 2010
Colorado Governor's Energy Office Request for Applications: High Performance Building Program (Look under August grants.)
ResourceSmart Colorado Fact Sheet
ResourceSmart Colorado Launch - August 11, 2009 Press Release
For more information about the program, or to schedule an interview with a representative from NAIOP Colorado, Denver Water or Xcel Energy, contact:
Follow us on Twitter @ResourceSmartCO