Boulder Housing Partners has joined 10 for Change, an initiative that challenges Boulder County businesses to save money by integrating sustainability practices in their operations. BHP is pursuing a wide-ranging sustainability program with the intention of becoming the nation's first net-zero energy and zero-waste housing authority.
Residents in Boulder County have until Friday, Aug. 31 to become eligible to win a Home Energy Makeover by signing up for a home energy assessment from EnergySmart.
One Home Energy Makeover contest grand prize winner will receive a whole-house makeover, valued at up to $20,000. The prize package includes a new energy efficient furnace, air sealing and insulation upgrades to the attic and crawlspace/basement, an energy efficient water heater, cooling system upgrades, and $4,000 to use for recommended energy upgrades of the homeowner's choosing.
To help pay for energy efficiency upgrades, members of Elevations Credit Union will have access to a new suite of loans.
The $1.1 billion cooperative in Boulder, Colo., said the loans for businesses and homeowners are a part of the Elevations Energy Loan initiative, which is a partnership with Boulder EnergySmart and the Denver Energy Challenge.
For a year and a half, advisers from Boulder County's EnergySmart program have been visiting homes and businesses, helping ferret out the spots where energy was leaking from the structures -- perhaps through un-insulated walls, old windows or inefficient furnaces -- and encouraging property owners to make changes.
Now, energy advisers have a new tool available to woo property owners into actually taking action on energy-efficiency improvements: access to financing.
Gary Neptune knows a good deal when he sees one, and he's seeing one every month when he looks at his utility bill.
"We're saving about 25 to 30 percent every month on our bill," Neptune said. "That's like 350 to 475 bucks a month on our bill, and that's good deal."
Boulder County's EnergySmart program, which helps owners of homes and businesses reduce their energy consumption and utility bills, is seeking people's comments about their experiences with the program, as well as comments from people who might be interested in participating in the program's energy-savings measures in the future.
Rebates from the EnergySmart program for commercial property owners to upgrade their lighting or HVAC systems are ending because the funds have run out, according to the program's administrators.
The program has issued $1,222,000 in rebates since it launched in November 2010, according to data provided by EnergySmart. More than 500 businesses have received rebates, which were issued for more than 730 projects.
Reduced electric bills — and rebates for making that happen — top the list of reasons why making your home or office greener is a good idea.
Then there's that whole better-for-the-earth reasoning too, of course.
According to Meagan Forney, membership and outreach manager with the Colorado Green Building Guild, the first steps to green up a building won't cost a cent.