Denver Releases Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan

DENVER — The Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR) released a Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan today showing how Denver residents can heat and cool their homes and businesses efficiently with clean electricity. The Plan describes opportunities to electrify homes and businesses and includes recommendations for the City of Denver to ensure an equitable transition to renewable heating and cooling technologies.

Key benefits of the Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan include:

  • Improving public health: When old gas-powered appliances wear out, upgrading to efficient, electric versions can reduce a major source of indoor air pollution that is especially harmful to children, the elderly, and people with asthma
  • Reducing emissions: 20% of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil gas used to heat homes and buildings. As more of Denver’s electricity comes from renewable sources, electric appliances offer a path to emissions reductions.
  • Creating good jobs: When households and business replace old appliances or install air conditioning for the first time, they contribute to the continued growth of local clean energy and energy efficiency jobs

“The new Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan offers Denverites the opportunity to heat and cool their homes and businesses without contributing to harmful indoor air pollution,” said NRDC Building Decarbonization Advocate Alejandra Mejia Cunningham. “We’ve already got the technology and the trained local workforce—and now, we’ve got a plan to bring these healthy, climate-friendly appliances to households and businesses that are ready to make the switch.”

“Denver is once again leading the way with a comprehensive, well-thought-out, practical, and achievable strategy for shifting our heating and cooling to super-clean and super-efficient technologies,” said Southwest Energy Efficiency Project Senior Associate for Buildings Efficiency Christine Brinker. “The plan will help keep families like mine safe and healthy while improving our air and climate.”

"Health starts in the home. Unfortunately, many households across Denver, particularly low-income and BIPOC communities, are predisposed to unhealthy air pollution from gas appliances," said Healthy Air and Water Colorado Policy Manager Michael Ruddock. "This plan will ensure cleaner indoor air in our homes by eliminating chemicals like carbon monoxide that are released when we use gas in our homes." 

“With 30% of Denver homes still lacking access to air conditioning, and gas heating driving climate change, Denver is forging an equitable, cost-effective, and climate-safe future for its residents by transitioning to renewable heating and cooling” said RMI Carbon Free Buildings Associate Courtney Fieldman.

"Pollution from gas appliances affect both indoor and outdoor air quality, and we need solutions to keep people healthy at home and outside," said Emily Gedeon, Deputy Director of the Colorado Sierra Club. "The City of Denver's new Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan will give people more tools to switch out their outdated and polluting gas appliances for cleaner, electrified options."

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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