State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Denver Energy Challenge
Federal Funding: $491,156
Project Timeline: February 2010 – September 2012
The Denver Energy Challenge has completed its activities under the Climate Showcase Communities grant program and is continuing to transition into a longer-term, sustainable program. As of September 2012, the Denver Energy Challenge for Businesses program had over 1,000 participating businesses and continued to host and support outreach events and workshops. The Denver Energy Challenge will now be supported through leveraged funds from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Grant and a grant from DOE’s State Energy Program. The Mile High Business Alliance updated their Colorado Local First website to feature some of the business participants.
Additionally, the Denver Public Schools Energy Challenge curriculum was finalized in late August, and the Denver Public Schools have been able to use the Climate Showcase Communities grant as seed funding to continue to support the School Energy Challenge. Lastly, Denver continues to promote clean transportation by producing local guides for businesses near bike share stations and bus stops. Denver purchased two electric vehicle charging stations and 15 bike racks to promote alternative transportation to restaurants and local businesses that participate in the city’s Green Business certification process. They have identified locations in the city for the charging stations and 12 of the 15 bike racks.
- Program Highlights - 2011 (PDF) (53 pp, 6M)
Photos and Videos
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions at the Neighborhood Scale
The goal of Denver’s Energy Challenge is to develop projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the neighborhood level. The project consists of four elements:
- greening small businesses,
- expanding neighborhood sustainable mobility options,
- providing incentives to support clean energy, and
- engaging residents to reduce GHG emissions.
To support the greening of local small businesses, the City of Denver is providing workshops and education resources, developing energy action plans across business districts, and assisting small businesses through a "start-to-finish" energy-assistance package. The City is also working with businesses to increase sustainable mobility options in neighborhoods. To achieve this goal, the project is promoting local non-auto routes, helping businesses provide incentives to reduce vehicle travel, and promoting alternative fuels.
The project is also promoting the voluntary purchases of renewable energy and travel GHG emission offsets through a community "Energy Makeover" program. Neighborhoods that meet targets for purchasing renewable energy or travel offsets receive funding for energy efficiency upgrades or a renewable energy system at a local school or community building.
Finally, the City is encouraging residents to reduce GHG emissions from their homes. Through Denver's Neighborhood Energy Action Partnership, residents in high-need neighborhoods are gaining access to programs including: free curbside recycling, free tree planting, free CFL porch bulbs, energy audits, home weatherization for low-income families, and utility rebates.
Benefits of the Energy Challenge Project include lower GHG emissions and commercial energy use, and improved residential energy efficiency. The Energy Challenge also supported green job creation, and educates residents, students, and small business owners while influencing behavioral changes necessary for the long-term achievement of environmental objectives.
|Area||155 square miles|
|Government Type||City and County|
|Median Household Income||$46,305|
|Reported Results (as of September 2012)||Projected Cumulative Results|
|Annual GHG Reductions||24,657 mt CO2e||28,745 mt CO2e|
|Annual Cost Savings||$1.5 million||not estimated|
*Reported results include projects initiated with CSC funding and supported with additional Department of Energy funds.
- Denver Energy Challenge website
- Denver Energy Challenge’s Facebook page
- Colorado's Local Flavor Guides
- Exploring Local Flavor: Highlands Square video
- What is the Denver Energy Challenge? video
- Recycling video
- Denver Energy Challenge - Atomic Cowboy GreenFax Promo video
- “I Pledge” video
- Denver Energy Challenge Residential Video
- Denver Energy Challenge & DBC Irrigation Video
- DPS Energy Challenge - Student Stories Video
- DPS Energy Challenge- Teacher Stories Video
- Become A Certified Green Business In Denver video
- How to Save Energy & Money with Elevations Energy Loans
- New loan program helps offset energy costs – Channel 9 News, 9/7/2012
- Radio Interview with ICOSA Magazine, 8/21/2012
- Denver Energy Challenge & Evolution Salon Success Story
- Interview with the Colorado Homes Show about the Denver Energy Challenge
- Denver Green Streets, The Denver energy Challenge Kickoff Event, 10/19/2011
- From Durham to Sacramento, Cities Get Help With 'Climate Showcase' Projects, 3/3/2010
- City of Denver, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and Salt Lake City Receive Grants to Combat Greenhouse Gases, 2/25/2010