In a city where there are tons of renters, it’s tough to motivate people to spend money on saving energy. That’s part of why the University of Colorado’s Environmental Center is helping students living off campus chip away at their energy bills by visiting their homes to show them how:
Hosted by CU’s Environmental Center, Student and Community Outreach for Renter Efficiency — or SCORE — teaches students living in certain Boulder neighborhoods how to lower their energy bills by making their homes more efficient through simple and inexpensive adjustments, such as using energy efficient light bulbs or setting thermostats to optimal temperatures. Read more
It’s not likely that any amount of convincing, or educating, or outreaching will convince landlords to make energy-efficiency upgrades to their rental properties. (Since tenants are the ones that usually pay the utility bills, it’s not a particularly attractive investment.)
So in Boulder — where 57 percent of all housing is rental housing — the city is considering a set of rules that would mandate upgrades.
Without such rules, advocates argue, there’s no way Boulder will ever meet its goal of complying with the Kyoto Protocol. But landlords are not psyched.
The proposed rules would tie the upgrade requirements to the existing rental-license renewal process, which happens every four years. Landlords would have to show that they’ve made necessary upgrades — or possibly that they’ve purchased carbon offsets to buy them more time to make the upgrades — before their licenses would be renewed.
The maximum necessary investment per rental unit would also likely be capped, possibly based on the value of the property.
Landlords across the city are “very frustrated,” said Sheila Horton, executive director of the Boulder Area Rental Housing Association. Read more