Building IQ

Know Your Building, Know Your Power.

Welcome to the Building IQ Program Hub

The one-stop-shop for the City of Aspen’s building benchmarking program – learn more about Building IQ, enroll in the program and get personalized support at every step.

The City of Aspen is committed to cutting carbon in the built environment and is partnering with CORE on Building IQ to make it happen. Aspen is joining a growing roster of cities worldwide that are working on innovative policies to reduce building energy use through benchmarking and building performance standards policies.

The City recently adopted science-based goals for reducing community greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2030 and zero carbon by 2050. Since buildings account for 57% of Aspen’s total emissions, with 27% coming from commercial structures and 30% from residential, Building IQ is an essential part of the plan to shrink our carbon “blueprint”.

Benefits of Building IQ

  • Conserve energy

  • Help manage your building

  • Identify short- and long-term savings

  • Support global climate action

  • Market as a green building

  • Inform City of Aspen energy programs

Buildings
(account for 57%)
All other sources 43%

Understanding the Ordinance

Building IQ is an ordinance passed by Aspen’s City Council. There are three primary requirements for building owners to be in compliance: 

  1. Get an energy assessment if your building is OVER 20,000 square feet and you have not had one in the last 5 years. CORE’s commercial walkthrough meets the requirement and it’s FREE.

  2. Benchmark your building using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager. Building IQ starts with the biggest buildings – 20,000 sq ft. and above – and rolls out to smaller buildings in subsequent years. Before getting started, find out when your building is required to be benchmarked in the “Benchmarking FAQs ” on the City’s Building IQ page.

  3. Report energy and water usage data to the City. Covered buildings are required to submit their benchmarking report by Dec. 1, 2022.

    Bonus:
     Building Performance Standards are the next phase of Building IQ. Get a head start improving your energy and water efficiency. Learn more at the bottom of this page. 


Important Dates & Deadlines
SectorPropertyProperties first Notice of upcoming benchmark datesProperty owners/managers collect property information & utility dataInitial Reporting DataCalendar year of utility data to report in there first benchmarking yearText Data that property benchmarking information included in annual aggregated community benchmarking report

Covered City Properties

All Covered Properties

N/A

November 2021-February 2022

June 30, 2022

2021

September 30, 2022

Covered Non-City Properties

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 20,000 sq.ft.

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022-November 2022

December 1, 2022

2021

January 30, 2023

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 15,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2023

January 1, 2023-June 2023

June 1, 2023

2022

September 1, 2023

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 10,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2024

January 1, 2024-June 2024

June 1, 2024

2023

September 1, 2024

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 5,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2025

January 1, 2025-June 2025

June 1, 2025

2024

September 1, 2025

Covered Multi-family Properties ≥ 20,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2023

January 1, 2024-June 2024

June 1, 2024

2023

September 1, 2024

Covered Multi-family Properties ≥ 15,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2024

January 1, 2025-June 2025

June 1, 2025

2024

September 1, 2025

Benchmarking

One of the most effective ways to save energy and water in buildings is to benchmark — that is, to measure and compare a building’s energy to similar buildings, past consumption, or a reference performance level. It’s also the first step to improving meeting future Building Performance Standards. The simple act of benchmarking can decrease energy use by 2 – 3% per year, a modest but meaningful reduction. Building IQ uses Energy Star’s benchmarking platform, Portfolio Manager.


Building IQ Benchmarking FAQs

Why should I benchmark?

In addition to it soon being a law in Aspen, there are multiple reasons benchmarking benefits you and the community. Through the Building IQ program, building owners can expect to:

  • Conserve energy.
  • Help manage your building.
  • Inform City of Aspen energy programs.
  • Market as a green building.
  • Support global climate action.
  • Identify short- and long-term savings.
How much will Building IQ cost?

There is no charge to the building owners or to the City of Aspen to use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager platform to benchmark.

When will the Building IQ program start?

Building IQ began June 1, 2022. City-owned buildings were the first properties to comply, and now large commercial properties will be phased in based on square footage, with large multi-family buildings to follow.

View the timeline: Building IQ Timeline

Who will be required to benchmark?

In addition to City-owned buildings that are the first to benchmark, owners of large commercial properties (20K sq. ft. +) are required to benchmark their buildings as of June 1, 2022. Smaller commercial properties and multi-family properties will be phased in over time. If you are wondering whether or not your building is on the current list, visit www.aspen.gov/buildingiq.

Are any buildings exempt from the Building IQ ordinance?

Per the Building IQ ordinance, select properties may qualify for certain exemptions and/or extensions. You will find exemption information and application forms on the City of Aspen’s Building IQ page under the “Exemption Request” section. Complete the appropriate form to submit your request to the City.

Two Ways to Benchmark Your Building

Option 1: Let CORE do the Work

The easiest way to benchmark your building correctly is to fill out the form below and let the experts at CORE take it from there. You can meet all of the first-year requirements by working with CORE and it’s 100% FREE.

Our Part: 

  • Building IQ Walkthrough to assess your property
  • Set up of your Portfolio Manager account
  • Accurate benchmarking of your building
  • Hassle-free end of year reporting

Your Part:

  • Fill out the enrollment form 
  • Respond to our email to schedule your Building IQ Walkthrough
  • Fill out data consent forms for utility accounts or gather 12 months’ worth of utility bills 
  • Review your results with CORE’s energy staff and get personalized energy advising for your building
  • Follow the link in the reporting section below to submit your Benchmarking Report to the City

How to Gather Utility Data:

Gathering data while working with CORE

If CORE is performing an assessment and handling your benchmarking, we are able to obtain your energy and water data on your behalf, as long as we have your permission and CORRECT billing information. Sounds simple, but this can be one of the most challenging steps to completing your assessment. If you do not have this information handy, please take the time to review the following steps and provide our team with the proper information so we can ensure you are meeting your obligations.  

Note: Assessments will be completed on a first come/first served basis and a building can not be scheduled until we receive your utility data. To ensure CORE has time to complete your benchmark and assessment, we recommend starting this process early.  

Have your  account information

It makes the process much easier if we have the billing information for your accounts. If possible, have a copy of the building utility bills available to ensure that you can provide the exact account holder name (name on the utility bill), account number and address. 

Enroll with CORE and Accept the Utility Waiver

By accepting the utility waiver and providing the necessary billing information as part of your CORE enrollment,  CORE will be able to obtain your whole building data for Holy Cross and Black Hills. 

Get Utility Information from the City

Fill out the City of Aspen’s Utility Customer Release Form to receive your building’s water and, if applicable your electrical consumption data and then email it to utilities@aspen.gov or by mail to the City of Aspen Utilities Department.

Note: ALL  BIQ participants receive your water through the City of Aspen Utilities and should fill out the City of Aspen Utilities release, regardless of your energy providers.   

Read this if you have tenants that pay their utility bills

If the owner pays the utility bills for the whole building, or there are four or more tenant meters the utilities can provide aggregated data for the whole building directly to the owner or their designee.  This data is also available from bill copies if the owner is able to obtain them. If this applies to you, skip to the instructions for gathering data from each utility in the following drop downs.

Buildings with three or fewer tenants that pay their own utility bills will have to gather utility data from their tenants. This can be accomplished by the tenant submitting the proper data consent forms for each of their water and energy utility providers. For water and other city utilities, tenants will reach


Option 2: Benchmark Your Own Building

We recommend letting CORE do the work to make sure your benchmark is simple and accurate. If you are the DIY type, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for benchmarking your own building here. Contact CORE if you get stuck, we’re here to help. 

Finally: Submit Your Report to the City of Aspen

Whether you are working with CORE or benchmarking your own building, YOU, the building owner or your designee are required to submit the benchmarking report to the City of Aspen on their Building IQ page by clicking the BIG BLUE BUTTON that says “submit” about halfway down the page. 

Step-by-step instructions for submitting your report
  1. Click the required reporting link on the City of Aspen webpage by selecting “Submit Data to City”- it will prompt you to sign into PM
  2. The link will launch a page titled Respond to Data Request.
  3. At the bottom of the page, you will need to choose the properties to report using the drop-down menu and click “Generate Response Preview.”
  4. Upon generating the response you will be taken to the Reporting tab.
  5. You will see the response at the top of the table, highlighted.
  6. In the Action column, select from the dropdown “Send Response.”
  7. On the page that appears, you must electronically sign your report by entering your PortfolioManager login information and clicking “E-Sign Response.”
  8. You have signed successfully when you see a green alert with a checkmark.

Watch the Video: How to Submit your Report to the City in December

Step 5 Links + Resources

Building Performance Standards

Once you understand how your building uses water and energy, it’s time to start using resources more wisely. That is where Building Performance Standards–AKA BPS–come into play. 

BPS is a policy that requires building owners to meet performance targets for energy use by actively improving their buildings over time. Since the majority of commercial and residential building stock that will be standing in 2050 is already built, BPS will help accelerate carbon-reduction at the rate necessary to meet local and national climate action goals. From a building owner’s perspective, BPS provides flexibility as owners can use whatever technologies and operational strategies they decide are most effective and economical to meet the target. Multiple state and local governments have passed BPS policies, including Washington D.C., New York City, St. Louis, and Colorado and Washington states.
The BPS policy details for the City of Aspen have not been defined, yet. We are interested in getting feedback from community stakeholders and will be starting stakeholder engagement beginning in 2022 with the goal of collecting input to implement policies the following year, in 2023. CORE provides technical and financial resources to help aid in the process. Check out our grants and rebates to receive funding for energy efficiency projects. 
How do I improve the energy performance of my building?

CORE’s Commercial Path to Zero is a step-by-step guide for improving building performance. Start with simple measures like upgrading your lighting and adding controls then work your down the path all the way to electrifying everything and powering your building with renewable energy. Plus, we provide funding to help get you there – check out our rebates and grants!

…or just reach out to Mike Bouchet. He will visit your property and create a simple, cost-effective plan customized for your building.

When do building performance standards begin?

Building IQ Ordinance enactment: June 1, 2022

  • Building Performance Standards (BPS) stakeholder group formed: Summer 2022
  • BPS stakeholder group conducts research, gathers feedback from the broader community, and develops the BPS Design Guidelines: Summer 2022 – Q3 2023
  • BPS Design Guidelines brought to Council for consideration and adoption: Q3/Q4 2023
  • Properties will need to comply with building performance standard: TBD (Established by BPS Design Guidelines)

The City of Aspen wants to hear from you! Email the Climate Action Office or visit the City’s Building IQ page and let them know what you think about Building IQ.

Got questions? I am here to help.

CORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to leading the Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net zero energy future.