Skip navigation

denver energy challenge logo and building picture

The Denver Energy Challenge helps residents make home energy upgrades easy and affordable. Free, neutral Energy Advisors work with Denver residents to identify energy goals, develop a tailored Energy Action Plan for each home, provide guidance on rebates, tax credits and low-interest financing, review bids, select a contractor and act as an expert resource until the work is complete.

Participants in The Denver Energy Challenge are saving an average of 23% by doing upgrades. 

To date over 11,490 residents are saving money and energy because of the Denver Energy Challenge.

Start Here

The City and County of Denver was originally a sub-recipient of a $25 million grant, managed by Boulder County, for seed funding from the Department of Energy's BetterBuildings Neighborhood Program in 2011. This funding was derived from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The Denver Energy Challenge was designed to stimulate local economic growth, increase energy efficiency investment in Colorado, and advance the state's energy independence through large-scale energy upgrades. 

Getting started is simple. You drive the process and timing, we provide expertise and support.

  1. CONTACT US - Call 720.865.5520, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or contact us online. We’ll set you up with your own Energy Advisor. Please ensure you are a resident of the City & County of Denver using the Denver Address Locator.
  2. GET AN ENERGY ACTION PLAN - Your Advisor will contact you to schedule an appointment (home visit, phone, Skype or Facetime) where you can discuss your current energy use and identify means for improvement. Your Advisor will then give you a tailored Energy Action Plan to achieve your goals and get you from start to finish. 
  3. TAKE ACTION - After you review your Action Plan, Energy Advisors can help you decide what projects to implement to make the greatest impact for the cost. Your Advisor will support you in applying for all applicable rebates/credits/loans, connect you with vetted contractors if necessary, and help you to review bids to ensure the process is easy and affordable.
Just Looking for Financing? Already know what projects you want done, and looking for low-interest financing? Submit your information here and make a note in the comments box so an advisor can contact you specifically about financing options, or just call us directly at 720-865-5520.
 
 
 
Watch this video to see how the process works:
 

When you sign up for the Denver Energy Challenge you will be assigned one of our Advisors. They provide free, non-regulatory advising to help you to identify means for making your home more comfortable, affordable and efficient.

Here’s what an energy advisor can do for you:

  • Answer any questions you have about energy savings
  • Meet in person or over the phone to identify energy saving measures
  • Draft a free, tailored Energy Action Plan for your home
  • Review a previous energy audit or help schedule one. (Note: An energy audit is a separate, more detailed plan performed by a contractor to determine specific areas of heat loss. Your energy advisor can consult as to whether you might want to take this additional step to meet your goals.)
  • Prioritize energy upgrades based on your goals and budget
  • Locate rebates, financing and help you apply
  • Provide a list of pre-screened Contractors
  • Compare and review contractor bids
  • Serve as a sounding board throughout the upgrade process

picture of paul koepke

Paul Koepke

B.Envd. Environmental Design, University of Colorado Boulder

paul.koepke@clearesult.com, 303-446-7891

Paul is a Colorado native, born and raised in Boulder. For as long as Paul can remember he has been fascinated with design work focused on residential buildings. Paul attended the University of Colorado and received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design with an emphasis in Architecture. During his time at CU, Paul also attained a Renewable and Sustainable Energy certificate through RASEI (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute). While working as an energy advisor, he successfully completed training and testing to earn BPI (Building Performance Institute) Building Analyst certification. Paul is always looking to expand his knowledge and loves helping others find solutions to their home energy and comfort problems.

 

Jason Greene

Associates of Applied Science for Digital Media Production and Print Design, Peninsula College, Washington State

jason.v.green@clearesult.com, 303-446-7884

Jason transplanted to Colorado in 2011 from the West Coast. As a child, Jason tinkered with mechanical and electrical devices and designed and built aesthetically-pleasing futuristic Lego dwellings. Eventually in his 20s and 30s, he expanded his creative skills, improving his methods of learning, listening and teaching while instructing youth-at-risk and working with adults with developmental disabilities. Jason applies a 'People First' approach when developing Energy Efficiency recommendations for Denver Energy Challenge homeowners. In his free-time, he actively participates in environmental and sustainable community activities along the Front Range.

Resources

Your advisor has information on all of the latest rebates and tax credits to bring down the cost of home energy projects.

Residential Rebates

Xcel Energy is the administrator of rebates for Denver Residents. We recommend checking with your energy advisor to see which rebates are available through Xcel Energy for the upgrades you choose to do.

Residential Tax Credits

View the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency to see if there are available tax credits for Colorado.

Tax credits available for purchases made in 2016 can be viewed here.

Low Cost Measures

There are a lot of simple, non-invasive upgrades that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. Your Energy Advisor can help you identify these in your Action Plan. 

If you need to replace your water heater, appliances, windows, or make other larger scale energy-improvements, the Denver Energy Challenge offers low-interest energy loans to residents starting at 2.75% thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The application process is easy and your Advisor can help. The steps to getting an energy loan:

  1. Contact the Denver Energy Challenge and an energy advisor can help you get pre-approved. 720-865-5520
  2. Once pre-approved a loan officer will contact you with more information. A property appraisal is not required.
  3. Work with your energy advisor to determine the loan-eligible scope.  
  4. Start work! Loans are based on contractor quotes and payment is made directly to the contractor, ensuring the work can begin before payment. Projects already started or completed by a Contractor are ineligible for financing.   

Measures that qualify:

  • Insulation and Air Sealing
  • EnergyStar® Appliances
  • Geothermal*
  • Space Heating and Cooling
  • Water Heating
  • Windows, Doors and Skylights
  • Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic*
  • Solar Gardens*
  • Solar Hot Water

*These eligible measures must be pre-approved.  

Full List of  Home Energy Loan Eligible Measures

Call your advisor to get started: 720-865-5520

The Denver Energy Challenge maintains a partnership program with contractors who wish to obtain mentoring and quality assurance checks to improve the quality of their work. You may elect to use one of these contractors, or any Xcel trade ally. Here’s an overview of what the process normally looks like:

  1. Contact the Denver Energy Challenge and an energy advisor can help you get pre-approved. (720-865-5520)
  2. Once pre-approved a loan officer will contact you with more information. A property appraisal is not required.
  3. Work with your energy advisor to determine the loan-eligible scope.  
  4. Start work! Loans are based on contractor quotes and payment is made directly to the contractor, ensuring the work can begin before payment. Projects already started or completed by a contractor are ineligible for financing.

The following is a list of contractors participating in the partnership program. The City does not endorsone company over the other. You may choose to work with any company you choose.

Solar Contractors

The City does not maintain a list of Solar Contractors, but we recommend choosing a solar contractor who is NABCEP certified. You can also check with COSEIA at www.coseia.org.

Additional Information

Denver Energy Challenge will focuses its efforts on serving single-family homes and no longer offers advising services for multi-family buildings. 

These resources can help you improve energy efficiency in your multi-family building:

  • Xcel Energy now offers multi-family building efficiency services and can provide an energy assessment, help you find applicable rebates and perform direct installations of high-efficiency lighting, water-saving devices and more.  To learn more, call 855-451-4467 or email XcelCoMultifamily@franklinenergy.com Inquire about available rebates at www.multifamily.xcelenergy.com/apply.
  • Benchmark your building(s) through Denver’s City Energy Project.
  • Denver’s new initiative, Energize Denver, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and multi-family buildings in Denver by 10% by the end of 2020.. 

  • What does Free Energy Advising mean?

Energy advisors are a free, neutral resource provided by the City. They are available to assist you at any point when making your energy improvements.

  • What if I just need financing? Do I have to meet with an advisor first?
No. Contact the us directly at 720-865-5520 or via the “Contact Us” form mentioning that you simply need approval for financing and an advisor will help guide you through the approval process. Note: You must be approved for financing before you begin work with a contractor.
 
  • Does my advisor also perform a home audit?

No, your advisor will provide you with an Energy Action Plan but you may choose to get an energy audit in addition.  An energy audit is a more comprehensive 3-4 hour test of your home that is performed by a certified energy auditor. It will identify specific areas of heat gain or loss, air penetration and ductwork leaks that can define the scope of work for a contractor. Home audits currently cost $185 or more. Click here to see how your advisor can assist you throughout the process. 

  • How do I know if my home is located in the City and County of Denver?

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.

  • Why is my advisor from another company?

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 and in-person advising to our participants. Advisors are not employed through the City but represent the City when providing services to you through the Denver Energy Challenge. Advisors work for CleaResult.

  • My home is historic, how can you help me?

Not only are your advisors knowledgeable about all types of upgrades, but all upgrades to historic homes can be 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.

  • Does the program help income qualified, low-income or elderly?

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. Visit Denver's Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Supprt website for more information. 

  • Are there any free weatherization services available in Denver?

Visit Denver's Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Supprt website for more information.

  • Are renters eligible to participate?

Yes. If you rent a home you are eligible to participate though please note that some energy upgrades may require property owner approval. Your advisor will work with you to determine what measures are applicable to your home and advise on 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. 

  • Will there be any impact on my home’s safety?What about CFLs, Carbon Monoxide, Radon and air quality?

Denver Energy Challenge Advisors strive to make your home more efficient, comfortable and safe. Please see our full safety guide for details.

  • Are there similar programs outside of Denver City & County?

If you live in Boulder County, Contact EnergySmart, which offers similar services. If you are an Xcel Energy customer contact their Solutions Center for energy advising.

DEC and EnergySmart in Boulder County are pleased to offer the Residential Contractor Partnership Program. We are dedicated to a renewed focus on workforce development as we continue to evolve our energy efficiency programs to better serve our communities.

Mandatory Minimum Qualifications for Partners

  • License and Certification requirements appropriate for the communities served
  • Must have a BPI Manager with minimum 1 year experience
  • Must be an Xcel Home Performance with Energy Star Contractor
  • Personnel performing required CAZ testing must Score 80% or better on level 2 of the Interplay CAZ Simulation (licenses to use the simulation are subsidized by the programs)
  • Must present Secretary of State Certificate of Good Standing
  • Have not been removed from any government, local, utility or other Energy Efficiency program. (If contractor has been removed, they must provide documentation of the grounds for removal and adequate evidence of remedying those reasons)
  • DEC/ES Homeowner Rating of no less than 8
  • Admission Interview passing score of 85 Points
  • Maintain a DEC/ES past QC performance minimum average score of 70 once admitted into the program

Please fill out the application found at link below.  

For questions, please contact the Manager of Contractor Services listed on the application or call 720-865-5520.

Contractor Partnership Program Application

How To Partner With Us

Contractor Operations Guide

 

Denver Environmental Health News & Information

 
Contact an Energy Advisor

 

 

OR

720-865-5520

Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.