Author: Traci Schalow

APCHA

APCHA Grant Program

The APCHA grant program will allow people to lower their carbon emissions, make upgrades to their space adding comfort, and save money on their utility bills.

APCHA property owners are eligible to sign up for one of 60 FREE energy assessments that will make you eligible for a portion of $100,000 in grant-funded energy efficiency improvements we are making available.

Property owners that sign up will receive the following:

  • A professional residential energy efficiency assessment.
  • Professional energy efficiency advising on how to participate and advance on CORE’s Path to Zero program in your home.
  • Guidance and support to apply for a high-impact residential energy efficiency grant in the amount of $1K, $5K, or $10K, based on your assessment. CORE and APCHA have joined forces to provide more incentives for energy efficiency upgrades for people who own a home with APCHA employee housing.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the $100,000 in available grant funding is fully allocated. Funding for this program is made possible by the City of Aspen and Pitkin County – Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP) resources, administered by CORE.

Take advantage of this opportunity to make improvements to your home that will also cut costs, cut carbon and advance a cleaner Roaring Fork Valley!

Who Qualifies: Any APCHA homeowner

Let’s Get Started

A better life starts with a better space. As soon as you submit this form, we’re on the job connecting you to our free energy advising, incentives and resources.

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Income Qualified Program

FREE IQ Program Benefits:

  1. Home Energy Assessment to identify opportunities to save energy and money
  2. Quick fix solutions like LED light bulbs and weatherstripping
  3. Energy coaching to prioritize the most impactful and cost-effective upgrades

Plus double rebates for any Path to Zero energy upgrade that isn’t free.


Eligibility

Please see the income guidelines to determine if you’re eligible for the program. Unemployment and other household assistance programs will automatically qualify residents for the program. Three recent pay stubs can also establish household income. Please keep in mind: household income is a total of all income earned (before taxes) from all adults living in the home. This includes non-family roommates.

Other Resources: You may also qualify other assistance programs such as Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and CARE.

Number in Home Max. Annual Income PITKIN COUNTY Max. Annual Income EAGLE COUNTY
1

$90,720

$93,960

2

$103,680

$107,400

3

$116,640

$120,840

4

$129,600

$134,160

5

$140,040

$144,960

6

$150,360

$155,640

7

$160,800

$166,440

8

$171,120

$177,120

Get Started

A better life starts with a better space. As soon as you submit this form, we’re on the job connecting you to our free energy advising, incentives and resources.
If you have any issues with our form, please email or call us (970-925-9775) and we will help you.

We encourage Income-Qualified Program applicants to reach out and discuss their project ahead of time. 

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Building IQ DIY

Welcome to the Building IQ DIY Hub

This page will walk you through how to comply with Building IQ from benchmarking to reporting. Download this How-To Guide for more information. If you get stuck, reach out to CORE anytime. We’re here to help. The requirements for DIY participants are the same as those working with CORE:

  1. Get an energy assessment if you have not had one in the last 5 years. CORE’s commercial Walkthrough meets the requirement and it’s FREE. 

  2. Benchmark your building using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager. Building IQ starts with the biggest buildings – 20,000 sq ft. and above* – and rolls out to smaller buildings in subsequent years. Before getting started, find out when your building is required to be benchmarked in the “Benchmarking FAQs ” on the City’s Building IQ page.

  3. Report energy and water usage data to the City. Covered buildings are required to submit their benchmarking report by Dec. 1, 2022.

    Bonus:
    Building Performance Standards are the next phase of Building IQ. Get a head start improving your energy and water efficiency. Learn more at the bottom of this page. 

Step 1: Create an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Account

You will need to create an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account to complete your benchmark and report to the city. Click the sub-steps in each section for screenshots and details:


FAQ’s

Watch the Video: How to Create an Account in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

Step 1 Tips

  • Write down your username and password. Once you choose a username, it can’t be changed.
  • You can generate a Data Collection Worksheet to help you identify building information and data required for steps 1 through 3. 

Step 1 Links + Resources

Step 2: Add a Property to Your Portfolio Manager Account

In this step, you will enter information about your property, how your space is used, the size, and more attributes. 

  • A. Go to your Portfolio Manager Account and click “Add Property”

  • B. Select the applicable characteristics and click “Get Started”

  • C. Add your basic property information

  • D. Add Unique Building Identifier found on the City of Aspen’s website

    1. Your Unique Building Identifier on the City of Aspen’s Building IQ page under the “Exemptions Request” section. 
    2. You will then add it on this page in the box that says “Standard IDs” 

  • E. Fill out how your building is used (see video for help) and click “Add Property”


FAQ’s

Watch the Video: How to Add a Property in Portfolio Manager

Step 2 Tips

  • Leave plenty of time for this step. Once you start, there is no way to save progress until you finish adding the property.
  • Gather the following information ahead of time: Square footage, type of property, address, occupancy, and how and how frequently your building is used. You can generate and print a Data Collection Worksheet to work offline.
  • If you have a parking garage, it needs to be included. Use this Parking Garage Reference Manual to account for it correctly.

Step 2 Links + Resources

Step 3: Add Utility Meters and Manually Enter Data in Portfolio Manager

This is where you enter your property’s energy and water usage from the past 12 months. You will need utility data from every source of energy and every meter. Click the sub-steps in each section for screenshots and details:

  • A. Click on the “Energy” tab and then select “Add a Meter”

  • B. Select the different energy sources your building uses and how many you have of each.

    1. Check the applicable fuel type (electric, natural gas, water, etc.) boxes for all meters
    2. Provide any additional requested information (such as whether the electricity is purchased from the grid or generated onsite)
    3. Enter the the number of meters for each

  • C. Click anywhere on the individual meters and enter meter information

  • D. Select “Create Meters”

  • E. Add your energy and water usage data

    1. Use the “How to Gather Utility Data” section below. 
    2. Click “Click to add an entry,” enter each month’s usage for all 12 months for that meter
    3. If you have tenants that pay their own utility bills, make sure to visit the FAQs in this section for more information on data gathering.
    4. Repeat for each type of meter and click “Continue”

  • F. Verify the meters entered to account for total energy and water usage

    1. Check the boxes for each meter
    2. Check “these meters account for the total energy/water consumption for this property.”

  • G. Click “Apply Selections”


How to Gather Utility Data

FAQ’s

Watch the Video: How to Create Energy Meters and Manually Add Data

Step 3 Tips

  • Gather the last 12 months of utility bills in advance if you are not using Data Release Forms. You will also need this info for your energy assessment or Building IQ Walkthrough.  
  • “Date Meter Became Active” will be the date of the first-meter bill reported for the building. 

Step 3 Links + Resources

Step 4: Check for and Correct Data Errors

Once you have added all of your building information and energy and water usage data, Portfolio Manager will help you check to make sure it’s accurate. 

  • A. Go to the Summary sub-tab, select “Check for Possible Errors”

  • B. Set the date then click “Run Checker”

  • C. Review the list of alerts (if any) and follow Portfolio Manager’s suggestions to address the issue(s).


FAQ’s

Watch the Video: How to Check for and Correct Data Errors in Portfolio Manager

Step 4 Tips

  • Make sure you have a full 12 months of bills in chronological order. Missing utility bills is the most common data mistake. 

Step 4 Links + Resources

Step 5: Submit Your Report to the City of Aspen

The BUILDING OWNER or their designee is required to submit the benchmarking report. To submit your report, go to the City of Aspen’s Building IQ page and clicking the BIG BLUE BUTTON that says “submit” about halfway down the page. 

Step-by-step instructions for submitting your report

  1. Click the required reporting link on the City of Aspen webpage by selecting “Submit Data to City”- it will prompt you to sign into PM
  2. The link will launch a page titled Respond to Data Request.
  3. At the bottom of the page, you will need to choose the properties to report using the drop-down menu and click “Generate Response Preview.”
  4. Upon generating the response you will be taken to the Reporting tab.
  5. You will see the response at the top of the table, highlighted.
  6. In the Action column, select from the dropdown “Send Response.”
  7. On the page that appears, you must electronically sign your report by entering your PortfolioManager login information and clicking “E-Sign Response.”
  8. You have signed successfully when you see a green alert with a checkmark.

Watch the Video: How to Submit your Report to the City in December

Step 5 Links + Resources

Building Performance Standards

Once you understand how your building uses water and energy, it’s time to start using resources more wisely. That is where Building Performance Standards–AKA BPS–come into play. 

BPS is a policy that requires building owners to meet performance targets for energy use by actively improving their buildings over time. Since the majority of commercial and residential building stock that will be standing in 2050 is already built, BPS will help accelerate carbon-reduction at the rate necessary to meet local and national climate action goals. From a building owner’s perspective, BPS provides flexibility as owners can use whatever technologies and operational strategies they decide are most effective and economical to meet the target. Multiple state and local governments have passed BPS policies, including Washington D.C., New York City, St. Louis, and Colorado and Washington states.
The BPS policy details for the City of Aspen have not been defined, yet. We are interested in getting feedback from community stakeholders and will be starting stakeholder engagement beginning in 2022 with the goal of collecting input to implement policies the following year, in 2023. CORE provides technical and financial resources to help aid in the process. Check out our grants and rebates to receive funding for energy efficiency projects. 

The City of Aspen wants to hear from you! Email the Climate Action Office or visit the City’s Building IQ page and let them know what you think about Building IQ.

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Building IQ Timeline

Sector Property Properties first Notice of upcoming benchmark dates Property owners/managers collect property information & utility data Initial Reporting Data Calendar year of utility data to report in there first benchmarking year Text Data that property benchmarking information included in annual aggregated community benchmarking report

Covered City Properties

All Covered Properties

N/A

November 2021-February 2022

June 30, 2022

2021

September 30, 2022

Covered Non-City Properties

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 20,000 sq.ft.

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022-November 2022

December 1, 2022

2021

January 30, 2023

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 15,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2023

January 1, 2023-June 2023

June 1, 2023

2022

September 1, 2023

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 10,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2024

January 1, 2024-June 2024

June 1, 2024

2023

September 1, 2024

Covered Commercial Properties ≥ 5,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2025

January 1, 2025-June 2025

June 1, 2025

2024

September 1, 2025

Covered Multi-family Properties ≥ 20,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2023

January 1, 2024-June 2024

June 1, 2024

2023

September 1, 2024

Covered Multi-family Properties ≥ 15,000 sq.ft.

January 1, 2024

January 1, 2025-June 2025

June 1, 2025

2024

September 1, 2025

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Back It Up with a Battery

The last step to the Path to Zero is back up your renewable energy with a battery and installation of an EV charging station. 

Residential + Commercial

BATTERY BACKUP:

Battery storage helps our electric grid be more resilient and reliable by making renewable energy available in almost any conditions. These systems store electricity and use smart software to optimize how it is used. As a result, renewable energy systems are more effective. Battery storage is one of the most important tools for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and restoring the climate.

INSTALL AN EV CHARGING STATION:

EV chargers are a great place to hold and use the electricity you produce through renewable energy. There are four types of EV chargers out right now for residential and commercial uses. 

Level 1—Home Charging (~5 miles per hour of charging): Level 1 charging requires a grounded regular three-prong outlet. All EVs and most homes are already equipped to accommodate level 1 charging. It can add about 40 miles of range in an eight-hour charge.

Level 2—Home and Public Charging (~22 miles per hour of charging): Level 2 charging requires a 240V circuit, like the circuit used to power an electric clothes dryer. These are the most common chargers and are found in a growing number of public places. One hundred and eighty miles can typically be added during an eight-hour charge. Level 2 chargers accommodate all EVs except Teslas which require an adapter that comes with the vehicle.

DC Fast Charging—Public Charging (100 – 180 miles per hour of charging): DC fast charging will add 50 to 90 miles in 30 minutes, depending on the station and vehicle. Level 2 charging stations are compatible with most EVs thanks to adapters.

Tesla: Tesla has their own proprietary rapid charging station. The technology is similar to the DC fast charging station. It will charge a Tesla at a rate of 170 miles per half-hour of charging.

Available Rebates

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Power with Renewables

Using renewable energy to power your home is an important consideration in reducing your carbon footprint.

There are many different options when tackling the 4th step on the Path to Zero, so it is important to find the best solution for you, your home, and your region. Some examples of renewable energy are solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power. 


Energy Saving Measures Include:

SOLAR PV: 
Solar Photovoltaic or Solar PV generates electricity from the sun. You can put solar panels on your roof (ideally south facing) and with Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine, you can produce a lot of energy depending on the size of your array. You will produce more in the summer vs winter, and during the day vs at night, which is something to consider. It is smart to get a battery with your solar panels so you can use the energy you are producing. If not, you will put it back into the  grid and to offset (or pay for) the cost of your electricity. There are rebates, tax credits, financing, and other funding options for solar, so get more information HERE.

SOLAR THERMAL: 
Solar Thermal is a system that uses the sun to heat water and produce steam that can be converted into electricity. It can also be used to meet your domestic hot water needs. When used to heat water, it can be connected directly to your hot water system.

MICROHYDRO:
Microhydro is a smaller hydroelectric system that can be used for a home or small community. It complements solar because in many places water flow is highest in the winter. With the amount of snow and rivers in Colorado, this is another valuable alternative to fossil fuels. 

WIND:
You might picture large wind turbines when thinking about wind power, but now there are many smaller systems you can use in your home or community. According to the Colorado Energy Office, as of 2016, 17.3% of the electricity generated in Colorado is through wind.

GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP:
Also known as geothermal heat pumps, ground source heat pumps use the ground as a heat sink. This system transfers heat to or from the ground, taking advantage of the relative constancy of temperatures of the earth through the seasons. They can be used for space heating and cooling, as well as water heating.

Available Rebates

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Electrify Everything

The 3rd step on our Path to Zero is to get off of fossil fuels (natural gas and propane) and onto electricity by switching your appliances and mechanical systems to all-electric.

Beneficial electrification is the process of switching from dirty fossil fuels to clean electricity in ways that benefit consumers, the environment, and the utility grid. With the electric green getting greener with renewable energy, there are many options to switch your appliances and heating systems over to electric. 


Energy Saving Measures Include:

BALANCED VENTILATION: 
Sometimes when we seal up a building to make it more energy efficient, we can make the air quality unhealthy for the occupants. In older leaky homes, plenty of air from the outdoors inadvertently can make its way in through the cracks, so providing a dedicated supply of fresh air isn’t as much of a concern. Once all those leaks are sealed, it’s vital to replace that air source with a balanced ventilation system. One of the most common types of systems that provides us fresh air without compromising energy efficiency is the energy recovery ventilator (ERV). This device pulls in fresh air while exhausting old stale air. As a result, it recovers some of the heat that would normally be lost.

HEAT PUMP:
Working like a refrigerator, but in reverse, heat pumps move heat from outside to inside. This magic box can pull heat out of the air (even with temperatures as low as -15°F) and bring it into the home, and in the summer, it pulls the hot air from the . They can be used as a space heater or cooler, and are sometimes called “reverse-cycle air conditioners”. Heat pumps can be up to 2-3 times more energy-efficient when compared to electric baseboards.

ELECTRIC HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER:
Hybrid electric water heaters use a heat pump to gain dramatic increases in energy efficiency. Rather than create hot water from electricity or gas, these units collect heat from the surrounding air and transfer it into a storage tank for later use. As long as the air has a useful amount of heat in it, these units are extremely efficient: up to four times more efficient than a traditional electric water heater.

Available Rebates

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Air Seal + Insulate

Step 2: Air Seal + Insulate

By sealing drafts and insulating walls, attics, and crawl spaces you can make the most of the heating and cooling you’re already paying for.

During your home energy assessment, the analyst will do a blower door test to see where the leaks are, but you can typically feel the draft or see daylight around your exterior door. This is the second step on our Path to Zero, and is important in keeping your heat in and the wind out. 


Energy Saving Measures Include:

AIR SEAL: 
Air sealing is designed to prevent unwanted air from flowing into or out of your home. This often occurs around windows, garage doors, recessed can lights, attic openings, and crawl spaces. By addressing air leakage, you also address comfort and indoor air quality issues that might be present in your home. The idea here is to seal up the home as tightly as possible, then ventilate it properly so you know where the fresh air is coming from. It can be as simple as caulking or weather stripping, but CORE can help with larger projects. 

INSULATION:
Simply put, insulation slows heat flow. To get started, you must understand the basics of R-Values. R-Value is a measure of a material’s ability to resist the flow of heat. If you remember one thing about R-Values, remember this: higher R-Value = warmer home. Insulation comes in many forms: blown-in cellulose, fiberglass batts, and spray foam, to name a few. When insulating your home it’s important to think about all the areas of your home that you want to be heated or cooled.

Available Rebates


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Why should I benchmark?

In addition to it soon being a law in Aspen, there are multiple reasons benchmarking benefits you and the community. Through the Building IQ program, building owners can expect to:

  • Conserve energy.
  • Help manage your building.
  • Inform City of Aspen energy programs.
  • Market as a green building.
  • Support global climate action.
  • Identify short- and long-term savings.
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CORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to leading the Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net zero energy future.