Q: How are the energy efficiency improvements paid for?
A: Ultimately the cost of improvements is rolled into the buyer’s mortgage for an added cost of between $1 and $16 per month. The unit listing price will include an energy efficiency allowance ($2,000 for studios, 1 and 2 bedrooms and $3,000 for larger units). Through the Energy Smart Colorado program, the City of Aspen will pay contractors to complete the improvements. After the home sale, the seller, who will have received the additional $2,000 or $3,000 in energy efficiency allowance funds, will reimburse the City. Within 30 days of the closing, the City will pay the buyer any difference between the allowance and the cost of the actual improvements. In the unlikely event that improvements exceed the allowance amount, the City will cover the additional costs.
Q: How long will the energy assessment take?
A: Residential energy assessments include a walk through inspection, combustion safety analysis, and a blower door test to find air leaks. These assessments usually take between 2-4 hours, depending on the home’s size and age.
Q: How are improvements chosen?
A: The improvements will be determined by the City of Aspen based on recommendations by a professional energy analyst and estimated energy savings and return on investment. Improvements will stay within the energy efficiency allowance allotted for each unit, based on unit size.
Q: Will this program make affordable housing more expensive?
A: While the purchase cost of units that participate in the program will increase slightly to cover the actual cost of improvements, the amount of money residents will save on their utility bills will offset or exceed the cost in nearly all cases. This program represents an affordable way to make Aspen’s housing stock more energy efficient, comfortable and ultimately, more affordable.
Q: If I’m purchasing a unit that is participating in this program, can I recoup the improvement costs when I go to sell my unit?
A: Yes. The actual cost of improvements are considered acceptable capital improvements and may be included in future listing prices.
Q: As a seller, how will participating in this program affect my ability to sell my unit?
A: Studies show that efficiency can help homes sell faster and at higher prices than their competitors. While there are no guarantees, a more energy-efficient, comfortable unit that costs a few dollars more per month than less-efficient alternatives will certainly be more attractive to some buyers.
Q: If the winning bid is for less than my asking price, would I still have to reimburse the City for the energy efficiency allowance?
A: Yes. The energy efficiency allowance is a pre-determined amount that will be added to your listing price. Regardless of the sale price, the seller must reimburse the City of Aspen for the set amount after the sale of the unit.
Q: What if I participate and don’t receive any bids on my home?
A: APCHA will determine if a unit is a good candidate for this program and is expected to sell within a reasonable time. If a participating unit fails to attract any bids after three months, the City of Aspen will cover the improvement costs and remove the energy efficiency allowance for your unit’s listing price.
Q: Can I participate if I am a renter or if I am not currently selling my unit?
A: This program is specifically for owned affordable housing units at time of sale; however there are some great resources for renters and homeowners who are not selling their units. To learn more, contact the Energy Smart Colorado Resource Center at 970.925.9775 or visit www.EnergySmartColoardo.com.
For more information, call (970) 920-5050.