Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on a category to see a list of questions related to our business or residential programs. Please contact us if you have additional questions we haven't answered here.
The Denver Energy Challenge (DEC) began with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy and was solely focused on reducing energy use within the commercial (and residntial sector). Certifiably Green Denver (also within the Dept. of Environmental Health) has been an ongoing partner with DEC however it wasn't until 2013 that the two began merging their programs together.
While DEC/energy may be the entre into sustainable practices within your business, the overall umbrella for what we provide at the City and County of Denver is sustainable business assistance through Certifiably Green Denver, which addresses: energy, water, waste, transportation and overall environmental business management.. A business can work with a free, neutral, advisor on any or all of these areas and become a certified green business in the process.
If you own a business in Boulder County, contact Energy Smart. Also grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, this program offers a similar services to help businesses find ways to cut energy waste and reduce utility costs.
For homes: 303.544.1000
For businesses: 303.441.1300
Program advisors are available to help you capture rebates through Xcel Energy, Denver Water etc. however the program does not offer an additional incentive.
Note that having “Denver” in your postal address does not guarantee that your business is within City/County limits, please use the Denver Address Locator to verify that you are within the City/County boundary.
Businesses located in the City and County of Denver interested in increasing their energy efficiency can participate in the Denver Energy Challenge. Low-cost energy loans for energy efficiency projects are available and your free advisor will also locate rebates through Xcel Energy, Denver Water etc. Click here for more info. on Low-Cost Energy Loans.
- Free, neutral energy advising from start to finish
- Business Recognition - via website and social media
- Low-Cost Energy Loans
The Denver Energy Challenge also has a historic preservation reviewer on staff. Not only are your advisors knowledgeable about all types of upgrades, but all upgrades to historic homes are reviewed so that the upgrades you implement do not affect the historical character of your home. This review ensures the longevity of the property and the comfort of the homeowner.
If you live in Boulder County, contact Energy Smart. Also grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, this program offers a similar services to help residents find ways to cut energy waste and reduce utility costs.
For homes: 303.544.1000
For businesses: 303.441.1300
Yes. Details are below. If you have already implemented projects in 2012 or plan to in 2013 talk with your advisor to understand what qualifies and what you need to do.
Sec. 401. Extension of credit for energy-efficient existing homes
This provides a 10-percent credit for the purchase of qualified energy efficiency improvements to existing homes. The energy-efficiency home products are retroactive for 2012 and must be “placed in service” before December 31st, 2013.
Under section 25C, the maximum credit for a taxpayer for all taxable years is $500, and no more than $200 of such credit may be attributable to expenditures on windows. This rule means that taxpayers who have claimed $500 or more of this tax credit in prior years, particularly 2009 and 2010, can no longer participate in the program.
Eligible measures are:
1. Added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC (& supplements) specifications.
2. Replacement windows and skylights, and exterior doors
- Which are equal to or below a 0.30 U factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30. Storm windows that meet the IECC in combination with their paired external window are eligible (taking into account the applicable climate zone). Storm doors paired with U-factor rated wood doors are eligible provided they do not exceed the default U-factor requirement for the combination. See the 2009 IECC for details.
- Which meet ENERGYSTAR ® guidelines. The credit covers 10% of the material cost, up to $200
3. Window films certified by the manufacturer that the product meets the requirements of a "qualifying insulation system."
4. Sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce infiltration and heat loss-these should be sealed so as to be consistent with the 2009 IECC.
5. Pigmented metal roofs, or an asphalt roof with cooling granules must meet Energy Star requirements.
5. An electric heat pump water heater which yields an energy factor of at least 2.0 in the standard Department of Energy test procedure,
7. Natural gas & propane furnaces must meet an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) 95 or higher, oil furnaces and gas, oil and propane boilers must meet an AFUE of 90 or better. The credit covers costs up to $150
8. Central air conditioning units and air-source heat pumps must meet the highest tier standards set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) as of February 17, 2009, which in most cases requires a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 16. SEER measures performance throughout the cooling season. The credit covers costs up to $300
9. A natural gas, propane, or oil water heater which has an energy factor of at least 0.82 or thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent, and
10. A biomass fuel property, which is a stove that burns biomass fuel to heat a dwelling unit located in the United States and used as a principal residence by the taxpayer, or to heat water for such dwelling unit, and that has a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.
In order to provide advising to all of our Denver residents the City & County of Denver has put in place a contract to provide phone advising to our participants. Advisors are not employed through the City on the residential side but represent the City when providing services to you through the Denver Energy Challenge. Advisors work for Populus.
For more information on these services, please click here.
Once you sign up for the Denver Energy Challenge an energy advisor will contact you to discuss your energy saving goals. Energy advisors are a free, neutral resource and are available to assist you at any point when making your energy improvements. They can provide assistance through:
1. Initial Phone Call
You can contact us M-F, 8a-6p and get connected with your own Energy Advisor by calling 720-865-5520. You can also submit your contact info. online and an Energy Advisor will contact you within 3-4 business days.
2. Answer Questions and Provide Education
Your advisor will help educate you about ways that you can reduce your home energy use through measures such as the use of programmable thermostats, Smartstrips/ power strips, and other simple behavioral changes.
3. Create a Plan of Action
After your initial conversation or a review of your home audit, your advisor can help you create a plan of action, prioritizing measures with quick paybacks to help you save money and energy in your home.
4. Assistance with Energy Loans, Rebates and Other Incentives
Your advisor can discuss financing options and review available rebates and incentives that you may qualify for.
5. Finding Contractors
Your advisor can help you locate contractors to complete your energy improvements, as well as evaluate and compare bids/estimates if necessary.
6. Follow up
Your advisor will follow up with you to track your energy improvements and is available to answer any questions you may have during this process.
Note that having “Denver” in an address does not guarantee that your home is within City/County limits, use the Denver Address Locator to verify that you are within the City/County boundary.
In order to determine what you may or may not qualify for, please sign up online and an energy advisor will contact you. If you rent a home you are eligible to participate. Certain measures may require property owner approval. Your advisor will work with you to determine what measures are applicable to your home and how to get property owner approval. If you are a renter and qualify for any existing income qualified resources your advisor will be sure to connect you with those resources as well.
The Denver Energy Challenge does not provide any free energy improvement services however there are many organizations in the Denver area that do provide free services. Click here for more info.
Denver Energy Challenge Advisors strive to make your home more efficient, comfortable and safe. Please see our full Safety Guide for details.
The process varies depending on the size of the attic, but typically crews will be in your home all day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You are required to be present when the work crews show up to answer any questions or sign any forms, but you may leave after.
Advisors are available to help you capture rebates through Xcel Energy, Denver Water etc. however the program does not offer an additional incentive.
The Denver Energy Challenge not only offers benefits to residents but contractors too! Click here to see why partnering with us can save you time and bring you more customers.
The Denver Energy Challenge for residents has a residential contractor pool. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please visit our Contractor page for details.
Who should apply?
Any home performance contractor, solar company, mechanical contractor, window company or other Denver contractor interested in local residential energy efficiency retrofit programs.