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Title: Colorado Better Buildings Project Final Report

The Colorado Better Buildings project intended to bring new and existing energy efficiency model programs to market with regional collaboration and funding partnerships. The goals for Boulder County and its program partners were to advance energy efficiency investments, stimulate economic growth in Colorado and advance the state’s energy independence. Collectively, three counties set out to complete 9,025 energy efficiency upgrades in 2.5 years and they succeeded in doing so. Energy efficiency upgrades have been completed in more than 11,000 homes and businesses in these communities. Boulder County and its partners received a $25 million BetterBuildings grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the summer of 2010. This was also known as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants program. With this funding, Boulder County, the City and County of Denver, and Garfield County set out to design programs for the residential and commercial sectors to overcome key barriers in the energy upgrade process. Since January 2011, these communities have paired homeowners and business owners with an Energy Advisor – an expert to help move from assessment to upgrade with minimal hassle. Pairing this step-by-step assistance with financing incentives has effectively addressed manymore » key barriers, resulting in energy efficiency improvements and happy customers. An expert energy advisor guides the building owner through every step of the process, coordinating the energy assessment, interpreting results for a customized action plan, providing a list of contractors, and finding and applying for all available rebates and low-interest loans. In addition to the expert advising and financial incentives, the programs also included elements of social marketing, technical assistance, workforce development and contractor trainings, project monitoring and verification, and a cloud-based customer data system to coordinate among field advisors and across local governments and local service vendors. A portion of the BetterBuildings grant went to the Metro Mayors Caucus (MMC) who worked in partnership with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to conduct a series of 10 energy efficiency workshops for local government officials and other interested parties. The workshops helped showcase lessons learned on energy efficiency and helped guide other local governments in the establishment of similar programs. The workshops covered a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy topics such as clean energy finance, social mobilization and communications, specific case studies of Colorado towns, energy efficiency codes, net zero buildings and solar power. Since the programs launched in January 2011, these communities have collectively spurred economic investments in energy efficiency, achieved greater than 5:1 leveraging of grant funds, saved energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, provided trainings for a robust local energy contractor network, and proved out viable and replicable program models that local utilities and other communities are adopting, with long lasting market transformation.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Boulder County
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Program (EE-2J)
Contributing Orgs:
Boulder County, City and County of Denver, Garfield County, Denver Regional Council of Governments, Metro Mayors Caucus
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION Energy efficiency, renewable energy, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, EECBG, Better Buildings, BetterBuildings Neighborhood Program, BBNP, energy independence, clean energy, buildings, building retrofits, energy advising, energy advisors, sustainability, Colorado, economic investment, rebates, financing, loans, demand side management, energy savings, greenhouse gas reduction, local economy