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Legislative Updates: Property Taxes & Energize Denver’s Heating and Cooling Plan

Posted by Mark Kennedy on July 13, 2021
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The Wheelhouse Report keeps you current on legislative bills that affect mid-sized commercial properties. Below is a review of two issues from the most recent 2021 City and County of Denver Legislative Session.

HB 21-1083 State Board Assessment Appeals Valuation Adjustment

Previously, appeals of Colorado property tax assessments could only result in a valuation decrease, or no change. That restriction was removed, and now valuations can also be increased. This is partially in response to property management firms, like ours, appealing almost all valuations as a matter of best practice, thereby increasing the caseload in what could be considered frivolous claims. The intent is to give property owners pause when appealing property tax assessments.

Energize Denver Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan

Photo of wind farm

This is one to keep an eye on as it could have a dramatic impact on commercial property owners. This program is still developing and we will keep you apprised of the changes.

The Energize Denver Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan is part of Denver’s long-term “80×50” plan to reduce the 2005 level of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by 80% by 2050, in order to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The plan’s stated goal is to de-carbonize existing homes and buildings in the City and County of Denver through the process of building electrification. This will be done by transitioning natural gas-fired equipment (water and space heating) to electric devices, primarily through Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) and Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH), in a phased approach over time.

An additional goal is to source 80% of Denver’s electricity through renewables, per a commitment made by Xcel Energy, Denver’s utility provider. This increase in the percentage of renewables will put more reliance on solar and wind sources. One concern will be how Xcel Energy plans to address scaling up in times of increased demand, and unforeseen weather changes that may impact power outages, as we saw in Texas this past winter.

Another concern is that a move to electric-based heat and hot water could make it more expensive for commercial buildings to operate, depending on future rates and building size. This could have the unintended consequence of driving commercial tenants out of Denver to other municipalities. It is yet to be seen which of the plan’s incentive and rebate recommendations will be implemented to assist in controlling costs. As this program is still evolving, we will keep you updated on our findings.

More details can be found online at

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