Be careful with Boulder energy regs
• Building on the base created by EnergySmart and other voluntary energy-efficiency programs.
• Requiring owners of commercial buildings to rate and disclose the energy performance of their buildings.
• Requiring building owners to make energy-efficiency upgrades.
That latter possibility has prompted plenty of angst among owners of commercial property — with one calling it a potential disaster — and we urge the city to proceed carefully before taking such a step.
It's true that commercial and industrial buildings produce 83 percent of the city's emissions, but mandating costly upgrades to commercial buildings would place an enormous burden on the business sector, potentially prompting businesses to move to other communities.
Consider, for example, two disparate businesses in the same commercial building: Energy used by one business could far exceed that used by the other. So how would landlords allocate the cost of such improvements? Would a business facing huge increases in rent simply find a way to pay, or would it look at more-affordable space in other cities?
City officials are expected to consider new ordinances and code changes this summer, Davidson reports, with the city council considering the changes this fall or in early 2013.
Much remains to be done before then. Even the requirement that building owners disclose the energy performance of their buildings might require an act of the General Assembly to force Xcel Energy to disclose the data.
Boulder should realize that changes such as those proposed would be monumental, and that the potential economic impact of this move should be studied in depth before any vote occurs.
Far better for Boulder would be an enhanced incentive approach, rather than mandates, and that's what we would like the city to investigate further.
Keep the carrots, but leave the stick at home.
More breaking news...
City should let mall talks run course
That’s how we would describe the visceral reaction to the Colorado General Assembly’s passage of new renewable-energy mandates for rural electricity providers.
Senate Bill 252, which passed
Time at last to reform immigration