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The downtown Denver skyline, as seen from Civic Center Park on Oct. 3, 2020. 

Denver’s climate action office unveiled a new task force on Thursday that will be dedicated to lowering pollutants from commercial and multifamily buildings, which city officials say represent 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

The new Energize Denver Task Force is a 25-member team representing a wide variety of sectors, including real estate, energy, solar, labor, workforce development, affordable housing, small business, and environmental and residential advocacy.

The group will focus on developing a policy that not only cleans up the city’s current and future buildings, but also creates jobs to drive economic recovery from the pandemic and positions the city to achieve its goal of ensuring all existing buildings are powered with 100% renewable electricity by 2040.

The work of this task force will be built off that of the Climate Action Task Force, which was formed this year to evaluate current policies and make recommendations that strengthen the city’s work in sustainability.

Of its numerous recommendations — one of which was a sales tax that voters passed this November — the task force advised transitioning Denver’s 17,000 existing commercial and multifamily buildings to net-zero energy within 20 years through a building performance policy that includes energy efficiency requirements and electrification requirements starting around 2025, as space or water heating systems are replaced.  

Other goals of the newly-created Energize Denver Task Force will be to design a building performance policy that improves indoor air quality and health outcomes, lowers energy costs for businesses and ensures under-resourced communities “can thrive” under the regulations. 

The task force will have its work cut out, considering city data shows that Denver is not on track to meet its emission reduction goals. 

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The group will kick off its first meeting from 1 to 4 p.m. on Jan. 7. All task force meetings will be streamed on its Facebook page at facebook.com/DenverCASR

The Energize Denver Task Force membership includes:

  • Aaron Martinez, Urban Land Conservancy

  • Amie Mayhew, Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association

  • Angela Fletcher, Denver Housing Authority

  • Ariana Gonzalez, Natural Resources Defense Council

  • Celeste Cizik, Group 14 Engineering

  • Christine Brinker, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)

  • Eddie Bustamante, LiUNA! Local 720

  • Frank Arellano, LBA Realty

  • Jennie Gonzales, IBEW 68

  • Jennifer Gremmert, Energy Outreach Colorado

  • Jenny Wilford, Colorado Sierra Club

  • Jolon Clark, Denver City Council District 7

  • Jon Buerge, Urban Villages

  • Jonathan Cappelli, Neighborhood Development Collaborative

  • Kathie A. Barstnar, NAIOP Colorado

  • Kirk Scheitler, Xcel Energy

  • Lori Pace, Denver Metro Association of Realtors

  • Mike Kruger, Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA)

  • Monique Dyers, Ensight Energy Consulting

  • Peter Muccio, Apartment Association of Metro Denver

  • Sam Knaizer, BP

  • Scott Prestidge, Colorado Oil and Gas Association

  • Sergio Cordova, Pipefitters Local Union No. 208

  • Stephen Shephard, Denver Metro BOMA

  • Steve Morgan, Bolder Energy Engineers, Rocky Mountain Association of Energy Engineers

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