Energy Outreach Colorado is adding an innovative new strategy to its programs for lowering energy costs for low-income consumers, based on energy education and behavior change.
With funding from Xcel Energy, EOC partnered with Colorado affordable housing communities, nonprofit organizations and low-income families over the past year to fine-tune a successful method that trains participants how to understand and manage their energy use in order to lower costs, address health and safety concerns and allow more dollars to be spent for other needs.
As a result, the 23 nonprofits, six affordable housing communities and more than 5,000 families that participated saved a total of 331,203 in kilowatt hours of electricity and 2,169 in dekatherms of natural gas. That amounts to a projected $81,223 that can be reallocated for other necessities.
As the winter holiday season gets into high gear, keep in mind these safety tips from nonprofit Energy Outreach Colorado to remain warm, safe and festive in your home.
1. With family at home for the holidays, make sure you have working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near bedrooms. CO can’t be detected by smell, taste or sight and can build up to dangerous levels when fuels such as natural gas, kerosene, wood or gasoline don’t have enough oxygen to burn efficiently.
2. Check that the power and extension cords on your lights and lawn decorations are certified by an independent testing laboratory and aren’t frayed, cracked or cut. Follow the rating for indoor or outdoor use.
3. If you’re planning to stoke up the wood-burning fireplace, make sure the chimney has been inspected and cleaned in the last year and use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
Energy Outreach Colorado Awarded Denver Energy Efficiency Grant DOSP funding will reduce energy costs for affordable housing, nonprofitsNovember 29, 2016
DENVER – The City of Denver’s Office of Strategic Partnerships (DOSP) is awarding $750,000 to Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) to improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing and the facilities of local nonprofits that support under-served communities.
EOC is a statewide nonprofit that supports affordable energy for limited income Coloradans. In addition to its energy efficiency work, it provides energy bill payment assistance, emergency home furnace repair and energy education.
The 2017 DOSP grant will fund EOC’s work to improve the energy efficiency of at least 600 affordable housing apartments and 10 nonprofit facilities achieve a total energy savings of 750,000 kWh and 74,000 therms. In addition to the energy savings, this equates to removing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1,263,234 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
Colorado Energy Office, Energy Outreach colorado and GRID Alternatives Colorado Collaborate to Create Milestone Low-Income Solar AccessNovember 21, 2016
DENVER – November 17, 2016 – The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), and GRID Alternatives Colorado today recognize the adoption of strong consumer protections and program offerings to bring equity and access of renewable energy to low-income customers served by Xcel Energy.
Last week, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the Xcel Energy utility settlement, which establishes the most comprehensive low-income solar access in the country. The milestone agreement creates a market environment in which utilities address customers most in need without deviating from renewable energy goals; developers realize business goals while serving a new customer segment; and low-income customers receive a reduction in energy expenditures which can be utilized for other basic necessities.
“The Xcel Energy settlement is a momentous step forward for our state’s low-income energy consumers, and we’re proud to have been a part of it,” said Skip Arnold, Executive Director of Energy Outreach Colorado. “Many diverse organizations and parties came together to seek a common solution for delivering affordable
energy for Coloradans, particularly those most vulnerable.”
DENVER – Supporters of affordable home energy in Colorado raised $213,000 at Energy Outreach Colorado's 12th annual golf benefit at Sanctuary Golf Course.
The Sept. 15 event was sponsored by SM Energy and presented by RE/MAX International. Other supporters included Broomhall Brothers, Meritage, Southwest Generation, McBride Lighting & Electrical Services, Elevation Lighting, Black Hills Energy, Xcel Energy, Advanced Hydronics, Group 14 Engineering, IREA, iconergy and GDS. The total amount raised from the annual event is $2.07 million.
"SM Energy is proud to be an ongoing supporter of affordable home energy in Colorado," said Jason Sands, accounting supervisor at SM Energy. "We are thrilled to be able to help members of our community with their energy needs and look forward to continuing our support of Energy Outreach in the future."
DENVER – To help Coloradans remain warm and safe in their homes this winter, Energy Outreach Colorado this month is granting $7.2 million for statewide energy bill payment assistance.
The funding is going to 105 community organizations that are part of EOC's assistance network and will be distributed quarterly. These community organizations accept energy assistance applications, determine eligibility and approve direct payments to local utility or fuel companies to cover struggling households' overdue bills.
DENVER – Energy Outreach Colorado's work on behalf of low-income energy consumers includes helping other dedicated non-profits that support under-served communities.
Energy Outreach's Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP) offers energy efficiency grants to install upgraded equipment in buildings owned by nonprofits that serve low-income communities. Participating organizations benefit from lower energy costs so they can allocate more of their operating budget to provide services to low-income communities.
NEEP recently completed a project at the Development Disabilities Resource Center's facility in Arvada. The upgrades are expected to save $12,800 annually in energy costs from new equipment including interior and exterior lighting, appliances, a boiler and heat exchanger, insulation and low-flow water aerators. Xcel Energy and EOC helped fund the $117,000 project.
DENVER – Coloradans who are most vulnerable to summer's sizzling temperatures -- due to lack of mobility, illness or the inability to pay their home energy bill – are getting relief from Energy Outreach Colorado's energy bill payment assistance.
Mark M., a 53-year-old disabled diabetic from Denver, recently received help on his energy bill last a day before his home energy was to be disconnected. He no longer had to worry about the 90-day supply of insulin in his refrigerator, or whether he could afford to turn on the evaporative cooler at night so he could sleep.
"I survive on Medicare and food stamps," he said. "I've owned the same house for 27 years but it came down to keeping my truck and living in it or selling the house, so I sold my truck. I've been riding my bike for four years."
DENVER – As part of your Fourth of July activities, challenge your family to "beat the heat" and save money on your energy bill. Provide them with this check list of low-cost energy saving tips and once they've completed it, celebrate with popsicles all around!
DENVER – The Environmental Protection Agency's newly-released design details of the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) highlight Energy Outreach Colorado's work to bring the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy to low-income communities.
As part of the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan, the agency is giving states the option to adopt the CEIP to encourage early implementation of greenhouse emission reduction projects. Energy Outreach Colorado's case study describes its comprehensive programs to deliver energy assistance services to low-income energy consumers across Colorado. It is one of two case studies included as examples of a "demonstrated ability to achieve results through on-the-ground implementation," according to the CEIP.