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Unsatisfied with the energy reductions achieved through voluntary incentives, Boulder is considering creating a mandatory energy-efficiency program for the commercial and industrial sector.

The program would be similar to Boulder’s SmartRegs program, which introduced energy-efficiency requirements for rental housing. Under SmartRegs, area landlords have until 2018 to bring their buildings up to more stringent energy-efficiency standards. They can apply for a variety of incentives to help cover their costs, and they can choose among various measures, from replacing old furnaces to installing new light bulbs, according to what’s appropriate for their buildings.

So far, measures aimed at the commercial sector have been voluntary. The “10 for Change” program challenges business owners to cut their energy use by 10 percent, and the commercial EnergySmart program provides energy advisors who help businesses identify possible energy savings and apply for available rebates and tax credits.

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