City of Colorado Springs / Environmental Sustainability / Sustainability Plan / Energy

Community energy goals and efforts that we're learning about...

Pikes Peak Region Sustainability Project Energy Stretch Goals state that by 2030, the region will have made considerable progress toward 100% sustainable energy use. Achieving this goal means that:

1.       50% of energy consumed in the region is renewable/sustainable, maximizing the amount of renewable energy produced within the region (from a 2010 baseline).

2.       Energy use in the region is reduced by 20% (from a 2010 baseline).


Fort Carson's long term goal is to sustain all facilities and mobility systems from renewable sources by 2027. The Installation strategy includes energy management, improved energy efficiency and 100% use of renewable energy.  They plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels - especially petroleum imports. They are going to work to integrate renewable energy into new/renovated buildings including: monitoring and maintaining the use of transpired solar collector applications and investigating the capacity and logistics of geothermal generation. The primary goal stated in the Fort Carson Regional Growth Plan calls for sustaining all facilities and mobility systems from renewable resources. Fort Carson also plans to increase energy awareness/policy efforts by monitoring energy use from buildings on the control system and identifying target buildings for metering, efficiently using energy resources and distributed energy sources.


Colorado College is committed to transitioning to a carbon neutral campus by 2010. Their plan for carbon neutrality includes producing 100% of campus energy needs from renewable sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal by 2020. The College?s energy goals include investing in the technologies and practices that will arise with a new energy economy, providing energy security to the Colorado College campuses and stabilizing energy costs. The College is currently implementing building energy efficiency and conservation strategies to achieve a 50% reduction in energy intensity campus wide. They plan to offset emissions associated with some sectors, such as transportation, with excess renewable energy purchases and/or by identifying and using a responsible offset provider, ideally one with local impacts and benefits and/or a service learning component.


University of Colorado at Colorado Springs recently completed a Climate Action Plan in fulfillment of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.  The plan for reductions in greenhouse gases emissions of 20% by 2020, 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The Greening of State Government goals include a 20% reduction in Energy Use Intensity between 2006 and 2012. They intend to look for opportunities to partner on renewable energy research and projects with external agents. UCCS is continuing to pursue energy retrofit projects as well as behavioral campaigns to reduce energy use on campus.  


Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) has several projects underway investigating the possibility of renewable energy sources from waste products. They plan on expanding their participation in renewable energy and efficiency projects. CSU offers a number of conservation programs and money saving rebates to their customers. CSU entered into a contract for a large scale purchase of renewable energy credits, allowing customers to offset their electrical usage and lower their carbon footprint for $0.34 per REC (100 kilowatt hour). They established an incentive program to customers to put in distributed solar generation. CSU has a new hydroelectric plant in Cascade, which increased available hydroelectric power to 32 megawatts and is partnering with the Air Force Academy on a 6 Megawatt solar system. CSU is also considering a tiered rate structure to encourage energy conservation efforts.


The United States Air Force Academy plans to play a leading role in renewable energy research as they have access to large amounts of renewable resources including 18,500 acres of natural resources including forests, water, solar, wind, geothermal, kinetics and biomass. They have a number of on-site renewable energy generation projects underway including dry fermentation biomass, solar array, hydro power, waste to energy and wind power. The United States Air Force Academy also plans to responsibly use energy resources and promote energy conservation when possible. The vision is to be a "Net-Zero" electricity installation by 2020 and a carbon-neutral installation by 2025. The Academy is has  partners with CSU on a 6 Megawatt solar system that provides 11% of their electricity needs and has reserved another 20 to 40 acres for future renewable resource projects.


In 2007, the Manitou Springs City Council unanimously approved a greenhouse gas reduction goal for both its municipal operations and throughout the larger community of 10% from 2005 levels by 2010. And, a further 30% reduction by 2020 with all new buildings and developments carbon neutral - generating or offsetting as much energy as they consume - by 2030. In 2008, their City Council adopted a Manitou Springs Climate Action Plan. The plan's recommendations include: building energy-efficient City buildings with alternative energy sources, using alternative fuels for City vehicles, contracting with one waste hauler to reduce garbage truck traffic on streets, expanding recycling to include curbside pickup, urging businesses and residents to switch to CFL light bulbs, establishing a park-and-ride, reinstating trolley service and increased education. Since then, a non-profit, the Manitou Springs Climate Action Committee, has been formed under the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to assist in the actualization of the goals.


The State of Colorado has a Greening Government goal to reduce energy use by 20% by 2012 (based on 2006 levels) and access and implement renewable energy projects where effective.

 And, here's what other communities are doing...


An integrated energy supply system that minimizes generation and distribution losses as well as pollution ¨C which should include a widespread use of distributed heating, combined heat and power systems, a smart grid that can support distributed power supplies

In 2006, the City completed a 70 kilowatt microturbine landfill gas-to energy project at the Los Angeles Landfill

Albuquerque is in partnership with U.S. DOE "Million Solar Roofs" program in which solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems will be installed in public buildings

All buildings must incorporate energy conscious design, maximum use of natural energy such as daylight, passive solar, and convection cooling and heating

Employ a systematic and consistent reduction of industrial energy consumption, material and water waste

An integrated energy supply system that minimizes generation and distribution losses as well as pollution ¨C which should include a widespread use of distributed heating, combined heat and power systems, a smart grid that can support distributed power supplies, and an economically and technically appropriate use of renewable energy resources must be created

By systematically supporting resource efficiency efforts of regional companies and agencies, Albuquerque is stretching infrastructure capacity further while helping maintain or improve environmental quality

Approximate 40% of energy cost reduction by retrofitting conventional traffic signals to LED technology



Denver is positioning itself as a regional center for balanced and renewable energy and green industries by creating 1000 new training and job opportunities in these areas for metro Denver residents by 2011

Through partnering with Waste Management Inc, the contract operator of Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site, Denver has begun construction of a 3.2 Megawatt landfill gas-to-energy power plant. The plant will use gas naturally created by landfill materials

Subject to approval by Xcel Energy Corporation, Denver plans to construct a solar power plant with capacity capable of powering the equivalent of 1000 homes

Increase the incentives for energy efficient affordable housing to $1,250,000 within five years

Increase the funding available for energy efficiency improvements for low-income residences

Light Emitting Diode (LED) traffic lights are saving the city over $800,000 per year

Require that all new city construction and major renovations meet the LEED Silver standard of the US Green Building Council and meet Energy Star guidelines

Reduce energy use by 1% per year, measured per passenger at DIA and per building square foot in City government facilities

Reduce energy use by 5% from 2006 levels, measured per passenger at DIA and per building square foot in other City Facilities

Fully implement all appropriate LEED-EB principles into City operations and maintenance

Douglas County


Support the development and use of renewable energy resources

Minimize energy use in residential and nonresidential development

Encourage energy-efficient design in buildings construction in accordance with LEEDs principles or other similar programs

Fort Collins


Pursue the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC) Silver requirements for City facilities

Incorporate energy efficient technology like light sensors and cost effective heating and cooling

  Use of energy conservation cards for computers operating in unoccupied offices

Establish networking option to power down computers


IndyParks Eagle Creek Earth Discovery Center uses a geothermal heating and cooling system. Geothermal units are typically 3-4 times more efficient then traditionally fueled heating and cooling systems

The IPL Green Power Option encourages customers to voluntarily choose power from renewable resources.  As a partner with the City¡¯s Department of Public Works (DPW), United Water purchases $53,000 in Green Power from IPL each year, to offset the energy use by the wastewater treatment facilities

There are currently 3 wind project and 26 solar energy projects in Indianapolis that are customer owned

The City of Indianapolis has implemented energy efficiency infrastructure projects to cut costs and emissions including 7,657 LED traffic signals that have decreased energy use by 68% and cut 349.55 tons of CO2 emissions as well as high pressure sodium street lights that have increased light output by 75% and saved about 30% on energy usage and cost on average

They are encouraging LEED certified buildings, they currently have 52 LEED registered projects 



 The City has the opportunity to provide more of its electric needs through new sources of renewable electricity, especially wind power

The City government set a goal of purchasing 10% of its annual electrical energy from renewable sources by 2006 and 20% by 2010.

The City issued a Clean Energy Challenge to city residents, urging them to purchase renewable power from their utility. The goals are two-fold: to persuade 5% of city residents to buy renewable power and to be recognized as an EPA Green Power Partner by having 2% of the entire community¡¯s electricity purchased from renewable sources.

Renewable energy incentive rate structures

Goal of meeting 35% of the energy needs of the city through renewable energy and energy efficiency

Promote LEED building

Contract with solar water heating utility.

Improve energy efficiency in existing building stock and reinvest in older communities


Purchase 100% green renewable energy  for travel

Advocate the role of cities in the development and delivery of conservation and renewable resources

The City shall also support environmentally acceptable, sustainable energy sources, especially renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass (wood, farm and municipal waste), cogeneration, and district heating and cooling

The City can provide and promote energy efficient infrastructure for water and wastewater treatment and delivery, transportation, and electricity and other energy supplies

The City can enforce the energy standards of the building code

The City shall promote cost-effective energy savings (simple paybacks of ten years or less) in municipally-owned buildings and facilities and take advantage of utility, State, and Federal technical and financial assistance programs.

The City shall encourage energy efficiency in existing residences, focusing on the most energy-wasteful units, by helping to develop and promote public/private partnerships, utility, local, State, and Federal programs

Portland, Oregon set a goal of acquiring 10% of City government electric load from renewable energy by 2003 and 100% by 2010



Reduce dependence on non-renewable energies

Improve the availability of locally and regionally produced renewable energy

Work to maximize local and regional renewable energy production with the goal that fifty percent of the energy (electricity, natural gas, motor fuels) consumed within the SACOG region be produced within the SACOG region

By 2020, city operations will be substantially fossil free (electricity, motor fuels)

By 2030, energy consumption (electricity, natural gas, motor fuels) of City facilities on a unit basis will be 25% less than the baseline year of 2005

By 2030, energy consumption (electricity, natural gas, motor fuels) per capita for the Sacramento community will be reduced by 25% relative to 2005.

Salt Lake City

Generating 10% of new building energy use with renewable energy

Requirements for building orientation for solar exposure and readiness of buildings for alternative energy production

Provision of development incentives (height, density) for the use of and/or generation of renewable energy sources

Lower or eliminate zoning and permitting fees or expedited process for renewable energy use

Enticements for ¡°cool roof¡± and ¡°green roof¡± technology for buildings through development bonuses

Promoting and allowing renewable energy generation such as solar and wind power that do not generate greenhouse gasses as do oil, gas, and coal-fired power plants

In 2001, it changed all the lighting at the City and County building to compact fluorescent bulbs and higher efficiency grounds lighting. This action not only reduced the demand for energy from coal fired power plants, but saved taxpayers over $33,000 per year

Salt Lake City also has a phased program to convert all of the traffic signals to LED lights. When this project is completed, savings from the LED conversion will equal over $50,000 per year

By mayoral order, all city-owned new construction or major renovations must be LEED Silver Certified

San Diego

Goal of adding 50 Megawatts of renewable energy for City operations by 2013

11% of the electricity sold to California consumers in 2002 came from renewable sources

City operations include purchasing of energy efficient products, utilizing current energy conservation techniques in construction and building maintenance and operations, and maximizing off©\peak hour electricity usage

Continue to upgrade energy conservation in City buildings and support community outreach efforts to achieve similar goals in the community

Continue to use methane as an energy source from inactive and closed landfills.


Encourage energy efficiency via integration of city¡¯s Green Buildings and Sustainability programs in housing design as a contribution to long-term housing affordability and as a benefit to our environment.


Working with local and national resource groups to develop renewable, distribution generation strategies

Sponsored the Colorado Renewable Energy Society¡¯s Colorado Renewable Energy Conference in 2003 and 2004

Implementing a pilot program with Xcel Energy to provide incentives for evaporative cooling systems

Design lighting systems that require the least amount of energy

Use local sources that eliminate energy consumption from freight costs and vehicle pollution

Produce homes on a community scale that use 40-70% less energy by implementing the green-building practices advocated by Energy Star and Building America, Stapleton homes will provide an average 30-50 percent savings on energy