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Incentives/Policies for Energy Efficiency

Printable Version
Greening of State Government   

Last DSIRE Review: 05/17/2013
Program Overview:
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Specific technologies not identified
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, CHP/Cogeneration, Bio-gas, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: State Government
Goal:20% reduction in energy consumption of state facilities by FY 2011-2012, using 2005-2006 as the baseline
Equipment/Products:Departments and agencies must purchase ENERGY STAR equipment when available
Purchases of electronic equipment must consider the life-cycle environmental and energy impacts of the equipment
Requirement:The Office of the State Architect must develop a high performance building certification program, and all state-assisted facilities must be designed and constructed to achieve the highest performance certification attainable.
Each state department and campus will create a sustainability management system to track and report their greening government performance. The Council will prepare an annual report card to the Governor.
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Executive Order D005 05
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Executive Order D0011 07
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Executive Order D0012 07
Authority 4:
CRS 24-30-1304, et seq.
Authority 5:
CRS 24-103-207.5
Authority 6:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Executive Order D2010-006

In July 2005, Colorado’s governor signed Executive Order D005 05, mandating that state agencies and departments evaluate business operations and implement new programs “to promote environmentally sustainable and economically efficient practices.” State buildings are encouraged to incorporate the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) practices for existing buildings to the extent applicable and practicable, and in new construction when deemed economically feasible. State agencies and departments are also required to implement programs to better monitor and manage electricity consumption as the resources to do so become available. The order also creates the Colorado Greening Government Coordinating Council, made up of representatives from each state agency and department, to develop and implement new conservation policies and augment existing ones.

In April 2007, Colorado's governor signed SB 51 and two executive orders related to energy and resource conservation within state-owned buildings. These new initiatives are meant to complement the previously executed Executive Order, D005 05. Executive Order D0011 07 established a series of goals for the state's energy use, and Executive Order D0012-07 detailed how those goals are to be met by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), the Greening of State Government Coordinating Council (“Council”), and other agencies. Among the goals established is a target 20% energy reduction in state facilities by FY 2011-2012, using 2005-2006 as the baseline. To ensure compliance with this goal, Executive Order D2010-006 required all Executive Branch agencies to use EnergyCAP software to track their utility bills. Executive Order D0012-07 also call for:

  • 10% reduction in water consumption by June 30, 2012
  • 20% reduction in paper use by June 30, 2012
  • 25% reduction in petroleum consumption by June 30, 2012
  • purchases of Energy Star equipment when available
  • “zero waste” from the construction of new buildings and the operation and maintenance of existing facilities

SB 51 of 2007 established mandatory sustainability requirements for the design and construction of state-owned and state-assisted buildings. The Office of the State Architect selected LEED as their program, and set LEED Gold as their minimum standard. This standard must be achieved by all new facilities and major renovation projects over 5,000 square feet which receive at least 25% of their funding from the state. If it is estimated that the additional costs of incorporating the measures required to achieve the minimum standard can not be recouped within 15 years, the project-owners may be exempted from the requirement, but are encouraged to include as many sustainable features as financially possible. SB 147 extended these provisions to apply to all new applications for publicly-assisted housing projects made to the division on or after January 1, 2009 unless the executive director of the Department of Local Affairs rules that extenuating circumstances exempt the project. HB 1207 clarified the responsibilities of public buildings for analyzing the cost and life-cycle analysis of environmentally preferable products. Performance Contracting (funding energy efficiency measures through expected energy savings) is being utilized at 10 of the 16 agencies as of 2009. 10% reductions in energy use will be expected in the remaining leased facilities. Each executive department, 17 institutions of higher education, the Secretary of State’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office have energy and water management plans in place.

Executive Order D2010-006 built upon the existing executive orders and created new requirements for reducing and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and waste sent to landfills, as well as reduced consumption of paper, petroleum and bottled water. Executive Order D2010-006 also requires agencies to include in their capital construction request a review of renewable energy systems and related opportunities to optimize savings, including use of third-party power purchase agreements. Executive Directors of state agencies are required to conduct an internal review at least annually to make sure their agency is on track to meet the targets associated with these Executive Orders. State agencies and employees are required to use energy-conserving software provided by the Colorado Energy Office.

  Erika Gibson
Colorado Energy Office
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.