Energy codes legislation will save consumers money and reduce climate emissions

April 11, 2022

Josh Valentine, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) |
Howard Geller, SWEEP |


[BOULDER, CO] – House Bill 22-1362 (HB22-1362), introduced in the Colorado legislature on April 7, requires cities and counties to update their building energy codes in order to increase the energy efficiency and cut the pollutant emissions of new homes and commercial buildings. Lead sponsors of the bill are Representatives Tracey Bernett (D-Longmont) and Alex Valdez (D-Denver).

The bill directs local governments that have building codes to:

  • Adopt and begin enforcing the most recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code no later than January 1, 2025;
  • Adopt electric and solar ready requirements as part of energy codes to prepare new homes and buildings for electric vehicles, rooftop solar, and high efficiency electric appliances; and
  • Adopt and begin enforcing a low energy and carbon code no later than January 1, 2030.

“With innovations in building design and performance as well as Colorado’s targets for dramatically cutting climate pollutant emissions, it is timely and important to update the state’s minimum energy code requirements,” said Howard Geller, Senior Policy Advisor for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “HB22-1362 also protects homebuyers and renters who are not able to influence energy efficiency at time of construction.”

“It is now possible to construct highly energy-efficient homes that run entirely on solar power and do so with a very modest cost premium. If the additional upfront cost is included in the home’s mortgage, the total costs for owning and operating the home will be less than that of a conventional, energy wasteful home,” said Norbert Klebl, developer of the Geos Neighborhood, a net zero energy community in Arvada, CO. “HB22-1362 will incentivize low and net zero energy housing developments on a large scale, thereby benefiting consumers and the environment.”

HB22-1362 also directs the Colorado Energy Office to provide training and financial assistance to local governments, builders, and contractors to facilitate energy code adoption and implementation. The bill includes $3 million in initial funding for these purposes. In addition, the bill includes $22 million in funding to support building electrification and decarbonization in public buildings and at the community-scale, with at least 40 percent of this funding targeted to assist lower income households, disproportionately impacted, or just transition communities.

“Many local governments as well as the state of Colorado have set targets to greatly reduce dangerous climate pollution,” said Jacob Smith, Executive Director of Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a coalition of towns, cities, and counties across the state representing 1.4 million Coloradans. “HB22-1362 will help save money for families and businesses across the state while also helping local governments and the state meet their climate targets.”

“There is less indoor air pollution in energy-efficient, low carbon homes and commercial buildings, thereby making them healthier to live and work in,” said Sabrina Pacha, Manager of Healthy Air & Water Colorado. “We urge swift passage of HB22-1362.”


The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.