EnergySmart helps homes and businesses in all Boulder County communities become more comfortable and energy efficient. EnergySmart aims to reach at least 10,000 homes and 3,000 businesses by June 2013. It is designed to stimulate local economic growth; increase energy efficiency investment in Colorado; and advance the state's energy independence through energy upgrades.
EnergySmart is a collaborative partnership throughout Boulder County, funded by a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy's BetterBuildings Program, combined with contributions from the City of Boulder’s Climate Action Plan tax and the City of Longmont.
Click on topics below to see selected FAQs:
What are my options?
For all prices and descriptions of service options, check out the HOME SERVICES PAGE.
What will my Energy Advisor do for me?
Your Energy Advisor is your project manager, helping you with you energy efficiency project every step of the way. Advisors are available by phone for free!
Your advisor will:
• Discuss your energy efficiency concerns with you and help make a plan to reach your comfort or energy-saving goals.
• Offer you a select list of pre-qualified contractors and help you get and evaluate bids.
• Connect you with available rebates. They will even help fill out your rebate paperwork!
• Connect you with the low-interest Elevations Energy loan. Your advisor will let you know what upgrades qualify for the loan, and help you work with Elevations to get your loan funded.
• If an advisor is available to come out to your home, he or she can install quick energy-saving items such as light bulbs, water-saving showerheads and insulation for your water pipes. Advisors can come to your home for free if you have had an assessment within the last three years or if you choose to schedule an assessment through EnergySmart. An advisor can come to your home without an energy assessment for $50.
What happens during an Energy Assessment?
An Energy Assessment from EnergySmart will use diagnostic tools called a blower door and infrared camera to test where your home is leaking energy. They will check the "building envelope" (walls, attic, doors and windows) and the performance of your major appliances. After your assessment, you will receive a report with recommendations of which upgrades will give you the best bang for your buck. You will be assigned an expert Energy Advisor to review your recommendations and help you start the process of making your home more energy efficient.
Check out a VIDEO OF AN ENERGY ASSESSMENT HERE
Does EnergySmart have a cost?
Yes. At times there may be special promotions that lower the cost of a home assessment. The current cost of a home assessment is $135. While the assessment has a cost the EnergySmart advising service is free if a home assessment has been done in the past three years.
Does EnergySmart have financing options?
We do! EnergySmart has partnered with Elevations Credit Union to provide a low-interest loan for energy efficiency upgrades. Your Energy Advisor can discuss which upgrades can be funded by the loan, and then help you get and review contractor bids for those upgrades. To qualify for a loan, you must work with an Advisor and apply through Elevations for credit approval. You can start the process by calling EnergySmart at 303.544.1000 or applying for the loan online. Remember, the loan is specific to energy efficiency upgrades and you must work with a qualified contractor.
What are my options if I am lower income or cost is a barrier?
EnergySmart and its partners, Boulder County, the City of Boulder and the City of Longmont, all offer options that provide assistance to lower income households. Please call 303.544.1000 to see if your household qualifies.
What happened to the ClimateSmart loan program?
Please see the ClimateSmart loan program website for details.
Can I participate in EnergySmart if I live in an old/historic home?
Yes! If your home is more than 50 years old, your Advisor will help submit a very simple review to the state historic preservation board. This typically takes 1-5 days and must be complete before any contractors begin work on the outside of your home (including windows, exterior wall penetrations or solar PV). Most reviews are quickly approved for work, and if not, most jobs can be easily modified to protect the historic nature of your home.
Are mobile homes eligible?
Yes they are! Many mobile homes can benefit from increased insulation, air sealing, new mechanical systems – in short, the same types of upgrades as a single-family house.
Does EnergySmart have rebates?
EnergySmart sometimes has rebates. It is best to call us at 303.544.1000 to discuss the current status of our rebate pool. Rebate amounts, measures, and qualification requirements vary depending on what Boulder County city you live in. In order to qualify for any EnergySmart rebates, you must have enrolled in EnergySmart prior to making a rebate-eligible upgrade. EnergySmart does not offer any retroactive rebates. EnergySmart rebates are first-come, first-served.
Are the EnergySmart rebates available for new construction?
No, the rebates are only available for retrofits to existing buildings. Please contact an Energy Advisor at 303-441-1300 to determine whether your project is eligible.
Who are EnergySmart partners?
Bringing it all together
Boulder County, in partnership with the Cities of Boulder and Longmont, offers the EnergySmart service to residents and businesses with target participation levels of 10,000 homes and 3,000 businesses by June 2013. EnergySmart was made possible when Boulder County was awarded $25 million in seed funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's BetterBuildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP) in the summer of 2010. This funding is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and of this, $12 million is designated to expand energy efficiency services to residents and businesses in Boulder County. The City and County of Denver, Garfield County, and the Denver Regional Council of Governments are also involved in this grant to pilot and deliver similar, convenient energy efficiency services in other parts of the state. EnergySmart is designed to stimulate local economic growth, increase energy efficiency investment in Colorado, and advance the state's energy independence through large-scale energy upgrades.
City of Boulder, Local Environmental Action Division (LEAD)
Laying the groundwork for local climate action
In 2006, the City of Boulder staff and community developed a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to serve as a roadmap for achieving Boulder’s emissions reduction goals. One program concept that originated from Boulder’s CAP focused on eliminating barriers to property owners making energy efficiency improvements to their buildings, a program design originally known as “Two Techs and a Truck.” With the help of the grant and collaboration with Boulder County and the City of Longmont, “Two Techs and a Truck” expanded into EnergySmart, while still addressing these same barriers. The City of Boulder continues to contribute CAP tax funds to support EnergySmart for both residents and businesses in the city. LEARN MORE ABOUT LEAD SERVICES
City of Longmont
Improving services for Longmont residents
In April of 2010, the City of Longmont was awarded $325,000 from the DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. To maximize resources and offer consistent, county-wide energy efficiency programs, Longmont has designated this funding to supplement the EnergySmart program, increasing services already in place for Longmont utility customers. LEARN MORE ABOUT LONGMONT SERVICES
Boulder County Public Health
Working with businesses to be EnergySmart
Boulder County Public Health designed and administers the Commercial EnergySmart service. Energy Advisors work with businesses to identify energy-saving opportunities and take advantage of incentives and financing to upgrade to more efficient and better performing equipment. Boulder County Public Health has been working with businesses in Boulder County for nearly 20 years to achieve energy, waste, water, and other sustainability goals through the award-winning Partners for A Clean Environment (PACE) Program.
Who are the supporting program consultants?
Populus Sustainable Design Consulting
Helping homeowners and landlords get EnergySmart
Populus is a residential energy efficiency consulting firm based in Boulder, Colorado. Populus has worked with municipalities throughout the West to design and implement residential sustainability programs and green building codes for both existing and new homes, including the nation's first performance-based energy code for rental housing. Populus works with Boulder County to administer the Residential EnergySmart services.
Behind the numbers (and the Kilowatt Kid)
Symbiotic provides clients with the most robust analytical engine to make informed decisions on resource consumption trends and program effectiveness. To facilitate this mission, Symbiotic has developed a suite of tools to assist communities and utilities in evaluating a wide range of sustainability metrics with a focus on reducing life cycle resource consumption and GHG emissions. Symbiotic works with Boulder County to manage and analyze the data produced by the EnergySmart program.
Nexant has provided services ranging from energy assessments to energy efficiency program design for the Boulder community since 2004. Currently, Nexant works with Boulder County on the development and delivery of the Heating & Cooling Optimization program, the design of a suite of commercial energy efficiency rebates for businesses in Boulder County, and the development and implementation of a measurement and verification process for the commercial EnergySmart service.
Cypress is processing commercial EnergySmart rebates. Cypress receives rebate applications from EnergySmart Advisors and processes them before sending rebate checks to customers.
The Cadmus Group, a national consulting firm, worked with EnergySmart during its first year to develop our name, logo, and branding, as well as a research-based marketing and outreach plan.
The creative design
Walden Hyde has helped with the creative design of EnergySmart videos, ads, and the current website. They are credited with the clean and innovative look of our marketing campaign.
EnergySmart creates monthly newsletters to highlight community events, program milestones, statistics, tips and more.