Energy Smart Colorado is Colorado’s all-encompassing home energy upgrades program. It is sponsored by electric utilities across the state, and is available to renters, homeowners and businesses in Eagle County, Gunnison County, Summit County, Lake County, Roaring Fork Valley and Yampa Valley. Property owners in Boulder County can also participate in the Energy Smart Boulder program, which offers similar benefits. Here’s the complete breakdown of all the different measures that you can take to reduce your energy use and shrink your utility bills through Energy Smart Colorado and Energy Smart Boulder in 2017.
Energy Smart Colorado and Boulder home energy assessments
In order to reduce your energy use and lower your utility bills, you need to first understand how much energy you currently use in your home. That’s why the cornerstone of every energy improvements program is a home energy assessment. Both Energy Smart Colorado and Energy Smart Boulder offer subsidized home energy assessments for homes and businesses in the counties that they cover.
Who is eligible for Energy Smart assessments?
Energy Smart Colorado and Energy Smart Boulder offer assessments in counties across the state, including:
- Boulder County
- Eagle County
- Gunnison County
- Summit County
- Lake County
- Roaring Fork Valley
- Yampa Valley
Customers of Atmos, Black Hills Natural Gas and Colorado Natural Gas are also eligible to receive an Energy Smart home energy assessment, even if they don’t live in one of the areas above.
What to expect in your home energy assessment
During an Energy Smart home energy audit, a qualified energy analyst will come to your house and conduct tests to determine your Home Energy Score and identify areas for improvement. In addition to giving you insight about your home’s energy use, the Home Energy Score is necessary for you to qualify for Energy Smart loans (more on that in the section below).
Your energy analyst will analyze your doors and windows to determine where there are air leaks that could be sealed. They will also test for gas leaks, carbon monoxide, and radon. At the end of the assessment, you’ll receive a detailed report on projects that you can conduct to reduce your home’s energy use.
Additionally, as part of your home energy assessment you’ll receive “quick fixes” that immediately reduce your energy use. These can include:
- A programmable thermostat
- LED light bulbs
- Hot and cold water pipe insulation
- One hot water tank insulation blanket
- Faucet or shower aerators to reduce water use
- Door weatherstripping to seal leaks (for up to 2 doors)
You can learn more about home energy assessments with EnergySage’s guide to home energy audits.
Cost of an Energy Smart assessment
A typical home energy assessment costs $400 to $500, but Energy Smart offers the assessments at a significantly subsidized cost in certain areas:
- If you live in Summit, Eagle, Garfield (in the Roaring Fork Valley), Pitkin, or Lake County, your assessment will cost just $100
- Customers of Atmos, Black Hills Natural Gas or Colorado Natural Gas can get an assessment for $150
- Residents of Boulder County are eligible for assessments at the reduced rate of $185
Cash rebates for home energy projects in CO, including solar panels
A significant part of Energy Smart Colorado and Energy Smart Boulder’s program to encourage smarter home energy use is their rebates for energy efficiency and solar power. The amount and type of rebates available vary significantly depending on where you live. Here are a few examples of options available:
- Solar PV installations: Eagle Valley and Boulder County residents are eligible for a $500 rebate on a solar energy system. Roaring Fork Valley residents can receive up to $3,000 in rebates, and Summit County residents can get $400 back.
- Energy-efficient appliances: Rebates range from $25 to $100 for a variety of energy efficient appliances like refrigerators.
- Programmable thermostats: “Smart” and programmable thermostats can help you use energy more efficiently. Rebates available through Energy Smart Colorado will cover $100 or more of the purchase price for a smart thermostat.
- Boilers, furnaces, and water heating: Depending on where you live, you can receive $400 to $500 towards the cost of replacing your old furnace, boiler, or water heater.
These are just a few of the cash rebates available through Energy Smart Colorado. Find information about the rebates available to you:
Energy Smart Colorado financing for home energy upgrades
Both Energy Smart Colorado and Energy Smart Boulder offer loans to help homeowners and businesses implement energy upgrades on their properties. These loans can be used to fund upgrades like new windows and doors, insulation, replacement of heating systems, and the installation of renewable energy systems like solar panels.
Energy Smart financing options
|Metric||Energy Smart Colorado||Energy Smart Boulder|
|Minimum credit score||580||Not available|
|Interest rates||3.75% - 8.5%||2.75% - 8.125%|
|Loan amounts available||$1,000 - $25,000||$500+|
|Loan terms||60 months – 120 months||36 months – 180 months|
Learn more about the loan options available to you, including eligible project types:
Compare offers on the best home energy upgrade available: solar panels
Energy Smart Colorado offers many different ways to reduce your energy use by making your property more efficient. However, energy efficiency can only take you so far. The most impactful way to cut your energy costs over the long term is generate your own electricity, which is one of the main reasons the program also offers incentives for solar energy systems.
To find out just how much you can cut your energy bills by going solar, try using EnergySage’s Solar Calculator. The Solar Calculator uses weather data, local rebates and incentives, electricity rates, and real-time prices to create a customized estimate of your 20-year solar savings.
EnergySage offers a solar marketplace where you can get competing solar installation quotes for your property, for free. When you combine energy efficiency measures with solar power through Energy Smart Colorado, you can be confident that you’re maximizing your savings while living in a truly eco-friendly home.