Happy New Year! A new year, a new campaign in Fort Collins! Since 2010 we have been working to get Fort Collins to adopt a financing mechanism for energy efficiency remodels. The model for such a program is called How$mart and it has been working very well for utilities around the country. Now, finally, on January 20, 2015 City Council will be voting on adopting a similar program. It is not perfect, but it is a huge step in the right direction and once it is ready we will be advocating to property-owners to check it out and see if it will work for them (coming to renters next January).
This program removes the cost barrier to efficiency remodels by using the energy savings generated to pay for the remodel. Now that you can get a remodel for free, we can start working on incentivizing property owners to go through the effort of getting it done. If you live in your home then you have incentive to improve comfort, lower bills, and save the Earth. But if you rent your home or business location, then you have to convince the landlord to go through the effort. To incentivize the effort we are proposing that a building's energy grade be published in any advertising for that building's sale or lease. The advertising will include the following line: "This building as an energy grade of '__'. A building with a grade of 'A' is as efficient as it can be and will have lower monthly energy bills relative to a similar building with a grade of 'F'. Any building that has not had an audit will receive a grade of 'F'."
This grading system allows renters or buyers to compare buildings and chose the more efficient building if they desire. The grading system gives prospective buyers/renters the power of choice. It rewards responsible property owners by providing market value for their improvements. And it incentivizes property owners to use the free efficiency remodel services that are available. Council members Gerry Horak and Ross Cunniff have stated support for the idea. Gerry took it to the executive of the Fort Collins Board of Realtors who showed interest in the proposal.
You can help by emailing the City leaders and telling them why you support "Energy Grade DIsclosure in Advertising". Your voice through email can help to get City leaders to take the issue seriously.