On November 3rd, with 73% of the votes cast, the Pitkin County Electorate authorized $7 million in available financing for the Energy Smart Local Improvement District. This would serve to fund the Energy Smart Loan Program (ESLP) which would provide a financing tool to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades on properties within Pitkin County. This voluntary, opt-in Local Improvement District would enable eligible property owners to apply for financing through the County to fund their energy upgrades, the costs of which would then be repaid via special assessment on their property tax bill. Property owners who do not consent to participate in the District would not be impacted by the program.
What is the timeline and process for getting loans?
Because Pitkin, Eagle, and Gunnison Counties have each received voter authorization to create their Energy Smart Loan Programs, the counties will begin the regional effort to create the program. The Counties will work with their Boards of County Commissioners, municipalities, financial institutions, energy experts, the Governor’s Energy Office, and the public to create a loan program that will serve the individual needs of each of their communities.
The Counties anticipate outlining the program details over the next several months in order to have a plan to take before their Board of County Commissioners in January 2010. Once the Boards give approval for the program plan, the Counties will work with their local energy-focused non-profits to begin marketing, outreach, and informational workshops for the program. The Counties plan to launch the Energy Smart Loan Program in March or April of 2010.
Should I wait for the ESLP to do my energy upgrades?
NO! Now is a great time begin preparing and planning for future energy upgrades by doing things like getting an energy audit, assessing your property for renewable energy improvements, researching local energy contractors and technologies, and learning more about local, state, and federal rebates. Getting some of the preliminary planning done will make the ESLP process much easier when the program is launched in the spring.
Here are some resources where you can learn more:
· Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE): www.aspencore.org
· City of Aspen Utilities: http://www.aspenpitkin.com/Departments/Utilities/
· Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO):http://www.colorado.gov/energy/
· Boulder County’s ClimateSmart Loan Program:http://www.bouldercounty.org/bocc/cslp/cslpintro.html
In the coming months, many more details of the ESLP will be solidified, so be sure to stay tuned to www.aspenpitkin.com for updates. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Dylan Hoffman, Pitkin County Energy Program Manager, at (970) 429-2897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.