Arvada reduces City facilities energy consumption by 28%, achieving Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized the City of Arvada as the first Colorado municipality to achieve its energy savings goal as a part of the Better Buildings Challenge. The City joined the Challenge in 2013 with the goal of reducing energy consumption in City facilities by 20% in 10 years. The City is proud to have surpassed the goal to achieve a combined 28% reduction in energy consumption across all facilities. 

The effort was coordinated by the Public Works Department under the leadership of Facilities Manager, Kim Vagher to update systems and infrastructure to achieve this goal. The City focused efforts on five core facilities:

  1. The Arvada Center, which makes up the majority of energy use, 
  2. Arvada City Hall, the next highest energy use building, and
  3. the construction of three police substations which were designed to meet LEED Gold certification.

Improvements at these facilities included updating HVAC systems, tankless boilers for heating and hot water, and the use of solar energy on site or through community solar gardens. The team also completed an energy performance audit with the Colorado Energy Office to develop a plan for increasing energy savings by 15% across the entire portfolio of City facilities. 

The City of Arvada is one of the market leaders partnering with DOE to set portfolio-wide energy savings goals and share their efficiency strategies on the Better Buildings Solution Center. To date, Better Buildings partners have saved $18.5 billion in energy costs, resulting in nearly 190 million metric tons of avoided carbon emissions.

“Our Better Buildings Goal Achievers are leaders in their industries—demonstrating that we can reach the nation’s ambitious climate goals if we work together and commit to excellence,” said DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Jeff Marootian. “Congratulations to the 2023 achievers, who are accelerating innovative solutions to use less energy, reduce emissions, and save money for American families and businesses.”

Participation in the Better Buildings Challenge is one of several efforts the City is undertaking to improve energy efficiency, generating cost savings and creating a more resilient community. Additional efforts include:

  • Partnerships with Xcel Energy, including the installation of a microgrid backup battery at the Arvada Center
  • Ongoing savings through community solar fields
  • Grants through the Colorado Energy Office, including two recently awarded grants for EV charging stations
  • Feasibility studies for vehicle and facility electrification

Learn more about the City’s efforts in this YouTube video about the program, visit the City’s website, or read the DOE press release.