mittens symbolize the care of the EOC nonprofit energy assistance program

Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP)

The Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP) helps nonprofits that serve income-qualified Coloradans across the state in upgrading their facilities to increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs. 

EOC staff help conduct an energy assessment and supply grant funding to offset the purchase and installation of new equipment, including efficient lighting, insulation, low-flow fixtures, and HVAC systems.

Nonprofits of all types, including youth centers, crisis shelters, food pantries, and clinics have all benefited from NEEP. 

Which nonprofits qualify?

The program is open to nonprofits that: 

  • Serve income-qualified Coloradans, including religious institutions that provide direct services regularly
  • Own their building or in a long-term lease*
  • Pay their energy costs
  • Are classified as 501(c)3 and are in good standing with the state of Colorado

*Organizations with long-term leases must have a minimum of 3 years remaining, option to renew, and a letter showing owner support. Nonprofits leasing government owned buildings may qualify on a limited basis.

Applications can be submitted year round and will be reviewed in January. If your organization is working on a larger renovation outside of this timeline or is experiencing an emergency, contact the NEEP team directly. Click the Apply Online button below to start your application.

If you have questions about the process, contact NEEP@energyoutreach.org.

A Recipe for Success to Serve More People

BuCu Kitchen Network is a Denver nonprofit that promotes and supports entrepreneurs, small business, cultural organizations, and residents by helping them with small business incubation and support. They also play an important role in the neighborhood by hosting art exhibitions and events for local residents, connecting individuals to resources in the community.

The organization has been operating out of a 12,000 sq ft building in the Westwood neighborhood since 2018, where they lease office space to several small local co-ops and artists. The building features a commercial kitchen space that operates 24/7 for small business owners to be able to prepare their products and meals regularly.

When NEEP had initially connected with BuCu West, the organization’s director had explained that the portion of the building that houses the commercial kitchen space was formerly a large walk-in refrigerator and little modifications had been made to the structure when they moved in. Poor insulation existed throughout the cavities of the ceiling and ductwork was exposed to the cold air. In some instances, refrigerators inside this space would repeatedly shut off when temperatures dipped below 50 degrees.

BuCu Kitchen Network received a NEEP grant of $94,830 in leveraged funding from Denver Office of Nonprofit Engagement, Xcel Energy and Energy Outreach Colorado. Energy efficiency upgrades include insulating over 8,000 sq ft of attic cavities, installation of 2 new rooftop heating & cooling units, and over 150 lights upgraded to LED. These widespread upgrades will yield an annual cost savings of approximately $10,000. Employees that work in the kitchen say they noticed the immediate difference that the insulation combined with the new heating systems made in their workspace and now find themselves having to turn down the thermostats several degrees lower this winter and their refrigerators now maintain steady uninterrupted function.

Due to a high demand for their services, the Kitchen Network is expanding and recently acquired a building at Urban Land Conservancy’s Park Hill Campus – the former Johnson and Wales Campus. Capital improvement and energy bill savings realized at the Morrison location will allow the organization to divert funding on serving more people and expanding their services. NEEP will also look to support the organization at the new location in 2022.

Impact

In 2021, NEEP worked with 39 nonprofits that serve 47,000 income-qualified Coloradans. Each of the projects helped lower both capital and energy bill expenses for the nonprofits, which allowed them to spend more on providing direct services to their communities.

Funding

NEEP is funded by Denver Office of Nonprofit Engagement and Colorado utility companies including Xcel Energy, Black Hills Energy, Atmos Energy, and Colorado Natural Gas. NEEP accepts applicants statewide, although funding may be greater in areas with funding partners.