Colorado

Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

Updated: October 2014

OVERVIEW

Colorado has seen a population growth rate of 1.55% per year on average from 2008-2013. The energy consumption growth rate has been 0.93% per year on average from 2008 and 2012. In 2012, energy expenditures per capita was $3,749, which is ranked 41th among all US states.

Summer peak demand in Colorado reached its high point in 2011, at 22,276 MW.  In 2012, summer peak demand fell 519 MW to 21,757 MW.

The state is served by two investor-owned utilities: Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy. Xcel is the largest electric utility in the state, providing 55% of Colorado's electricity to more than 1.3 million customers primarily in the Denver metropolitan area. Black Hills Energy (formerly Aquila) provides 4% of the electricity load in the state with about 92,000 customers in 21 communities, including Canon City, Pueblo, Rocky Ford and Florence. Twenty-six rural electric associations and twenty-nine municipal utilities handle the remaining electric customers in Colorado. Natural gas is provided by Xcel Energy, Colorado Natural Gas, Eastern Colorado Utility Company, and Source Gas along with six municipal utilities.

Below is an update on the energy efficiency programs in Colorado, with links to utility websites:

Electricity Demand-Side Management

Natural Gas Demand-Side Management


ELECTRICITY DEMAND-SIDE MANAGEMENT

XCEL ENERGY

Xcel Energy is Colorado's largest utility serving over 1.3 million electric and gas customers. Xcel is spending about $87 million per year on its electric demand-side management (DSM) programs and $12 million per year on gas DSM programs as of 2014.  

  • Residential Energy Efficiency Programs 
    Xcel Energy's residential customers are eligible for rebates if they purchase energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, home weatherization measures such as insulation, high efficiency water heaters and showerheads, and evaporative coolers. Incentives are also provided for recycling old refrigerators, and the utility provides in-store discounts on CFLs and LEDs.  In addition, Xcel provides incentives to builders who construct Energy Star® (or better) new homes. 
  • Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
    Xcel Energy offers a variety of rebate programs to its Colorado commercial and industrial customers including incentives for energy-efficient new construction, motors, lighting, compressed air, heating and cooling, and custom energy efficiency projects.  In conjunction with these prescriptive and custom rebate programs, Xcel also offers new building design assistance and recommissioning support for its business customers.
  • Additional Programs
    Xcel also sponsors market transformation and education programs (e.g., customer education programs, home energy audits and financing for energy efficiency improvements), low income programs (e.g., energy savings kits, low income weatherization, and rebates for non-profit organizations) and pilot programs (e.g., programs testing energy feedback systems for homes and businesses, and investigating electric vehicle charging station options for residential and commercial customers). 

     

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BLACK HILLS ENERGY

Black Hills Energy serves about 95,000 customers in the Pueblo area. Black Hills offers a variety of energy efficiency rebates for both residential and business customers:

  • Residential efficiency programs include a High Efficiency Cooling Program, High Efficiency Lighting, Refrigerator/Freezer Pickup Program, and Residential New Construction Program for Builders.  The incentives start at $50 and go to $400 for upgrading your heat pump or air conditioner. 
  • Programs for commercial and industrial customers include a Commissioning Program, Custom Rebate Program, a New Construction & LEED Green Buildings Program, and a Prescriptive Rebate Program. Custom rebates include high efficiency chillers, HVAC equipment, and refrigeration.

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COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES

Colorado Springs Utilities is the second largest electricity service provider in Colorado, serving more than 550,000 customers.

  • Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
    Colorado Springs Utilities offers a variety of energy efficiency incentives to its residential customers through their Residential Rebate Program. Rebates are offered for insulation, air sealing measures, furnaces, windows, lighting, programmable thermostats, clothes washers, and dual-flush toilets. Rebates range from $15 to $150, depending on the initial cost of the improvement.
  • Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
    Colorado Springs Utilities offers a number of rebates for its business customers.  These rebates include a builder incentive program, irrigation rebate, lighting rebates, peak demand rebate, prescriptive rebates, restroom rebates, and window rebates. 

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DELTA-MONTROSE ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION (DMEA)

  • Residential Rebates
    DMEA offers rebates on LED lighting, Energy Star® heat pumps, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers.
  • Commercial Rebates
    DMEA offers rebates on high efficiency lighting retrofits, heat pump retrofits and motor upgrades.

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FORT COLLINS UTILITIES

Fort Collins Utilities, the City of Fort Collins municipal utility, offers residential and commercial customers a variety of opportunities to save energy. Fort Collins Utilities programs are highly effective, making the utility the top-performing municipal utility in the region in terms of energy savings achievement. See list of programs below:

  • Residential Programs
    Fort Collins Utilities offers home energy audits through the Platte River Power Authority Efficiency Works program.  The utility offers rebates for Energy Star® dishwashers and washing machines, refrigerator and freezer recycling, and high efficient lighting. The utility also offers an energy efficiency financing program to support improvements in home heating and cooling systems and insulation.
  • Business Electric Efficiency Program
    Fort Collins Utilities provides rebates for commercial lighting improvement, air conditioning and cooling upgrades, retro-commissioning for existing buildings, Motor variable frequency drives, appliances and other mechanical equipment, efficiency upgrades for commercial kitchens, laundries and grocery stores, and office equipment and IT upgrades.  Additional services are available through the Platte River Power Authority Efficiency Works program.

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PLATTE RIVER POWER AUTHORITY

The Platte River Power Authority provides electricity to its four member communities through their municipal utilities, including Estes Park Light and Power, Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont Power and Communications, and Loveland Water and Power Department. The programs described below are generally available for all customers served by these four utilities.

Efficiency Works is a collaboration of five Northern Colorado municipally-owned utilities and acts as the clearing house of all energy efficiency programs offered by the utilities in the Platte River Power Authority.  Information about energy efficiency programs offered to residential, commercial and industrial customers is available on the Efficiency Works website.

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HOLY CROSS ENERGY

This electric cooperative has developed a voluntary carbon reduction strategy designed to slow the growth of carbon dioxide emissions created in the generation of electricity used by its customers. To that end, it provides customers cash rebates for energy efficiency and energy conservation activities efforts.

  • Residential Programs
    Holy Cross’ residential programs include rebates for high efficiency lighting, home insulation, heating and cooling improvements, and refrigerator and freezer recycling.
  • Commercial Programs
    Holy Cross’ commercial programs include rebates for high efficiency lighting, building insulation, heating and cooling improvements, and installation of variable speed drives and motors.

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LONGMONT POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS

Longmont Power is offering its residential and commercial customers rebates for the purchase of Energy Star®-rated clothes washers and dishwashers.  Residential customers can apply for one rebate per appliance, while commercial customers can apply for three rebates per appliance.

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MOUNTAIN VIEW ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION (MVEA)

Mountain View Electric Association, Inc. (MVEA) and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., MVEA's power supplier, will pay credits to MVEA residential customers who install selected electrical heating systems and/or selected electrical appliances, including high efficiency light bulbs. Rebates are available for water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners, and motors that meet certain performance requirements. 

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POUDRE VALLEY RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION (PVREA)

Poudre Valley REA offers rebates for efficient household appliances, LED lights, and home insulation upgrades.  For commercial customers, Poudre Valley REA offers incentives lighting improvements and for installation of variable speed drives and electric motors. 

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UNITED POWER

United Power offers its residential customers an energy efficiency rebate program for qualified water heaters, heat pumps, motors, electric thermal storage, and ENERGY STAR appliances. and refrigerator recycling incentives.

 

NATURAL GAS DEMAND-SIDE MANAGEMENT

 

XCEL ENERGY

Xcel energy’s natural gas  programs can be found on Xcel’s  Find a Rebate web page.

  • Residential Programs
    Xcel’s residential natural gas programs include rebates for efficient water heating systems (including rebates for high efficiency showerheads), insulation improvements, whole-house retrofits, and furnace improvements.
  • Commercial Programs
    Xcel’s commercial natural gas programs include rebates for high efficiency heating systems and boilers, rebates for  pipe insulation and for high efficiency hot water systems..

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BLACK HILLS ENERGY

Black Hills Energy offers rebates for high efficiency water heaters, furnaces and boilers, and programmable thermostats.  It also offers online energy assessment tools to its natural gas customers in Colorado.

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EXCESS IS OUT: SOURCEGAS, ATMOS ENERGY, AND COLORADO NATURAL GAS

"Excess is Out" is the collaborative DSM program of three natural gas providers: SourceGas, Atmos Energy, and Colorado Natural Gas. All three companies offer a similar DSM programs for residential customers including rebates for home energy audits, rebates for purchases of energy efficient  These companies offer a similar set of programs for commercial and industrial customers. 

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