Building Department Expedites Permits for Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency Upgrades





Building Department Expedites Permits for Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency Upgrades



Contact:  Stephen Kanipe, Chief Building Official, City of Aspen, 970-429-2766 or and Lauren McDonell, Environmental Initiatives Program Manager, City of Aspen, 970-429-1831 or

Aspen, CO – November 27, 2012– The City of Aspen building, housing and utilities and environmental initiatives departments have created a cooperative pilot program to streamline the energy upgrade process for owners selling their affordable housing units.

In June, 2012 Aspen City Council initiated a program where the City, the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority and the Energy Smart Center would offer energy savings upgrades on for sale APCHA houses.  This is a voluntary program where the cost of the energy upgrades would be added to the sales price but will likely result in even greater energy savings for the new owner. 

In order to make the upgrade process quick, inexpensive and straight-forward, the City has instituted the NrgEx Energy Permit Express program.  The program provides a checklist of energy upgrade work that requires a permit, offers a flat permit fee of $25 and promises if the permit is submitted by 10am it will be processed and issued by 4pm the same day.  The flat rate includes the permit and inspections.

“The idea behind this is to streamline the process, help energy raters and homeowners organize their projects around the City’s permitting and inspection requirements and to support the program,” said Stephen Kanipe, chief building official for the City of Aspen.  “We see this as a pilot project for the energy upgrade permit process.  If it is successful for affordable housing projects, we can expand it for anyone in the City who wants to do energy upgrades to their homes.”

Examples of work requiring a permit include air sealing, new or altered insulation, or new equipment such as a boiler or water heater.

“We really want to see this program succeed,” said Lauren McDonell, environmental initiatives program manager for City of Aspen.  “Hopefully this expedited permitting process will help.  This is a win-win for sellers and buyers alike.  The sellers can make these upgrades that are attractive to potential buyers and the buyers will have more comfortable, energy efficient units and pay less for their energy costs.”

The building department has instituted a similar NrgEx Energy Permit Express permit with a $50 flat rate for those participating in the hotel energy efficient makeover contest, another environmental initiatives pilot program.

For more information on the affordable housing energy upgrade program go to



Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012