It all starts with an assessment. Ryan Honey received a CORE grant for TACAW, the first net zero performing arts center in Colorado. PC: Dan Bayer Photography.

If you are aware of CORE’s services, then you have probably heard of a home energy assessment. This is what gives you an analysis of how your home uses energy. But how do you get this information for a larger, commercial space?

Answer: Schedule a commercial assessment with our Commercial Program Manager Mike Bouchet. I sat down and had a chat with him to learn all about what you can get out of a commercial energy assessment.

Brittany: So Mike, first things first, what is a commercial energy assessment and who can get one?

Mike: A commercial assessment tells you how your space uses energy and the mechanicals of your building. It is the first step on the Path to Zero and is FREE, so you can’t go wrong with that! After the assessment, you can start applying for rebates as you complete energy efficiency project. CORE offers 25% of project costs up to $2,500 in rebates, and custom rebates are available up to $25,000. For larger projects, we offer grants up to $50,000 as well. It all starts with a commercial assessment, and any commercial space can get one (multi-family or building that houses businesses). 

Brittany: Wow, that’s a lot in funding! What are some of the things you are looking for?

Mike: I get an understanding of your space. I will look at the thermostats, if it’s programmable or static. I’ll look at all the doors and windows to check for air leakage. If you can see daylight around your doors, that’s a problem – you don’t want to be heating the outdoors! I’ll look for any aging equipment or old mechanics that could be at the end of their life, and the heating and cooling systems. But most importantly, I like to talk to the owner or manager and learn how people interact with the space and use energy. 

Brittany: Do people need to prep anything before you do your assessment?

Mike: I need at least one year of utility bills, but preferably two years, before the assessment can be scheduled. This helps me compare and contrast. For example, if your bills have gone up, I can try to figure out why. It can reveal where the excess usage is consumed. 

Brittany: How long does an assessment usually take?

Mike: Someone needs to be there to show me about, and you get to spend about 1-2 hours with me. I need access to utility closets/mechanical rooms and electric panels. 

Brittany: What are the benefits of an assessment and what do you get out of it?

Mike: Well first of all, this is a free service, so you would be missing out if you didn’t take advantage of that! During the assessment, we have a dialog, and I figure out how your space uses energy. After, you get a written report that identifies the top 3 energy saving improvements or areas to be addressed. You will learn about energy efficiency measures and ways to cut your utility bills. This begins the relationship between CORE and the commercial property, and gets them started on the Path to Zero. Ultimately, you determine where and when to start. CORE will continue with advising, can give guidance on specific projects, and will provide rebates and incentives as energy efficiency projects get completed. 

Sounds like a win, win!

To schedule an assessment, sign up here or contact CORE’s Commercial Programs Manager, Mike Bouchet, today! Get started on the Path to Zero– cut your utility bill, lower your carbon emissions, and get a more comfortable space!