State and Local Policy Database

Aurora

City Scorecard Rank

30

Aurora, CO

38.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Aurora adopted a goal to reduce community-wide emissions 10% below 2007 levels by 2025. ACEEE projects the city will meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.

Energy Efficiency Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide renewable energy goal for the city.

Last updated: August 2023

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equity Accountability Measures

We were unable to determine whether the city has adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track how multiple energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are affecting local marginalized groups. 

Last updated: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

Aurora hosts three community solar systems on city property. The Colorado Solar Gardens Act requires community solar projects to carve out shares for low-income subscribers. 

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

We were unable to determine if the city has adopted specific policies or programs that incorporate requirements or incentives to mitigate the urban heat island effect. 

Resilience Hubs

We were unable to determine if the city has supported the creation of resilience hubs that incorporate clean energy resources and are sited in disadvantaged communities.

Last updated: August 2023

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Workforce development for disadvantaged workers

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from disadvantaged communities to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Workforce development for the broader community

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from the broader community to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Outcomes tracking

We could not determine if the city has instituted a mechanism to measure the performance and/or success of equitable workforce development initiatives focused on the clean energy sector.

Last updated: August 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 17.5 out of 30 points
Building Energy CodesList All

Overview

The State of Colorado is a home rule state with a voluntary building code for both residential and commercial construction.

Commercial

Aurora requires commercial properties to comply with the 2021 IECC. The code uses a commercial zEPI score of 53.6.

Residential

Aurora requires residential properties to comply with the 2021 IECC. The code uses a residential zEPI score of 51.75.

Solar-readiness policies

The city has not adopted mandatory solar-ready requirements. Aurora amended its zoning code to allow for solar energy use in all zones.

EV-charging readiness 

The city has not adopted mandatory EV-ready requirements.

Low-energy use requirements

New municipal buildings must be built to LEED Gold standards. 

Electrification

The city has not adopted policies to encourage the elimination of fossil fuels, such as building emissions standards, all-electric readiness provisions, or all-electric requirements for new construction.

Last updated: August 2023 

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Aurora has 8 full time building inspectors who spent 40% of their time on building energy code enforcement, resulting in the equivalent of 3 full time employees dedicated to energy code enforcement. Aurora requires plan reviews and site inspections to verify code compliance and provides free upfront support to developers.  

Last updated: August 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and Multifamily Benchmarking 

In June 2021, the State of Colorado passed energy benchmarking requirements for commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet. 

Rental Energy Disclosure 

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective tenants and leasers. The requirement also requires disclosure at the time of lease renewal. 

Building Performance Standards 

State bill HB21-1286 sets building performance requirements for multifamily and commercial buildings greater than 50,000 square feet.

Time of Sale Requirement  

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective buyers. 

Incentives

Aurora offers PACE financing to commercial property owners for renewable and energy efficiency improvements. 

Equitable program outcomes

We could not find information on whether the city collects data on incentive and financing programs to ensure equitable outcomes.

Last updated: August 2023

Transportation
Score: 6.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

 Sustainable Transportation Plan

The Aurora Places Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2018 and includes sustainable transportation strategies.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City of Aurora does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Aurora does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Last Updated: August 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Aurora has made changes to its zoning code in the past 10 years to facilitate more residential density, mixed-use development, or transit-oriented development. 

Parking Requirements

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Aurora has at least one zone, neighborhood, or district with a parking maximum of 1 or fewer spaces per housing unit or no minimum parking requirement for residential uses.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City of Aurora does not have location-efficient development incentives or disclosure policies.

Affordable Housing around Transit

The City of Aurora does not require, preserve, or incentivize the development of affordable housing near transit.

Last Updated: August 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City of Aurora does not have a codified mode share target . 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of Aurora does not have a codified mode share target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

RTD, a transit agency serving the City of Aurora, provides a 40% fare discount for individuals with a household income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level through the LiVE Income-Based Fare Discount Program.
 

Last Updated: August 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

We could not determine how much funding the transit entities that serve the City of Aurora have received from local sources.

Access to Transit Services

The AllTransit Performance Score measures a given community's transit access and performance. The score considers connections to other routes, access to jobs, service frequency, and the percent of commuters who ride transit to work. The City of Aurora's AllTransit Performance Score is 6.4, scoring 1 point in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: August 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Xcel Energy offers a $3,000 rebate on the purchase or lease of a used electric vehicle, and a $5,500 rebate on the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle. Both rebates are only for Xcel Energy customers that meet certain income requirements and are enrolled in an assistance program like SNAP or the Colorado Weatherization Assistance Program.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Neither the City of Aurora nor the local utility provide incentives for the installation of EV charging stations.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Aurora does not require new developments to install EV charging stations.

EV Charging Ports

The City of Aurora has 35.7 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use.

Electric School Bus Goal

We were unable to find information indicating that either the City of Aurora or the local school district have set an electric school bus goal.

Electric Transit Bus Goal

We were unable to find information indicating that either the City of Aurora or the local transit agency have set an electric transit bus goal.

Last Updated: August 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

The City of Aurora does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan in place, nor is it pursuing any freight efficiency strategies.

Open Data Portals

The City of Aurora does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data.

Last Updated: August 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 17 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

Xcel (Public Service Company of Colorado), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and natural gas utility for the City of Aurora. The State of Colorado requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS as well as efficiency requirements within demand-side management plans to be filed annually. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Colorado page of the State Database.

Aurora Water is the municipal utility that provides the City of Aurora with drinking water services, while the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District provides wastewater treatment and stormwater management.

Last Updated: September 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Xcel Energy reported 487,126 MWh of net electric savings at the meter.

In 2021, Xcel reported 8.12 MMtherms of total net natural gas savings at the meter. These savings figures cover Xcel’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Aurora.

Xcel offers natural gas and electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

Aurora partners with Xcel Energy through the Partners in Energy program where the city and utility partner to set energy efficiency targets and determine renewable energy strategies for the community.

Last Updated: September 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Xcel Energy offers a portfolio of dual fuel programs to serve low-income residential customers, including the Single-Family Weatherization Program, the Low-Income Multifamily Weatherization Program, Low-Income Nonprofit Program, and Low-Income Energy Savings Kit Program. These programs provide no-cost weatherization measures through third-party product implementers. Measures include weatherstripping, insulation, replacement of inefficient furnaces and refrigerators, water efficiency measures, and installation of efficient lighting. Additionally, Xcel offers energy-savings kits to low-income customers. Xcel Energy’s low-income programs target high energy users and elderly customers and streamline eligibility through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program income qualifications. Xcel Energy partners with the Colorado Energy Office and Energy Outreach Colorado, which actively work on low-income customer programs.

Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) implements the utility’s low-income programs. EOC leverages funds from utility rebates, government funding, and donor funds to address health and safety and other needed repairs and measures. Xcel Energy provides $275,000 in utility funds per year to address health and safety threats tied to energy savings, such as boiler and furnace tune-ups, replacements, and water heater replacements. 

In 2021, Xcel Energy’s low-income programs achieved 42,486 MWh and 2.20 MMtherms of energy savings, while spending $4,293,738 and its electric program. The cost of its natural gas low-income program was not available.  In 2019, Xcel Energy served 3,553 electric and 4,420 natural gas households. Households served include those receiving energy-saving kits and those participating in weatherization programs.

Multifamily Programs

Xcel offers the Multifamily Weatherization Program. This comprehensive program provides funding for a wide variety of natural gas and electric equipment retrofits, process improvements, facility audits and studies for low-income multifamily buildings. The company's rebates supplement federal weatherization grants to produce incremental, cost-effective natural gas and electric savings. Each submitted project is evaluated using a custom analysis by the company's energy efficiency engineers to determine cost-effectiveness. In some cases, rebates for additional energy-saving equipment are also made available.

In 2021, Xcel Energy’s Multifamily program achieved  6,103 MWh and 0.03 MMtherms of energy savings, while spending $1,090,890on its electric multifamily programs and $361,269 on its natural gas multifamily programs. Xcel Energy served 50,237 households with its multifamily electric program and 44,593 households with its multifamily gas program.

Last Updated: September 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Xcel provides the free automatic upload of monthly energy bill data to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts, including aggregated whole building data for buildings with four or more tenants. Xcel Energy provides community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through their Community Energy Reports on an annual basis. The City of Aurora does not advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: September 2023

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In December 2018, Xcel Energy set a goal to provide customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. They also include an interim goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. To achieve this goal, Xcel Energy will need to reduce emissions by 6.1% annually from 2019 levels in the state of Colorado.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

At this time, we cannot confirm whether or not the city of Aurora participates in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

Aurora hosts three community solar systems on city property. The Colorado Solar Gardens Act requires community solar projects to carve out shares for low-income subscribers. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

Aurora hosts renewable energy systems at three city facilities: Aurora Municipal Court, Sand Creek Water Reuse Facility, and Facilities North Satellite Campus. We were unable to confirm the installed capacity at these facilities. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

Aurora offers PACE financing to commercial property owners for renewable and energy efficiency improvements. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

In 2019, Aurora Water entered a partnership with Xcel Energy to provide financial incentives for energy efficient and low water use commercial laundry machines. Xcel Energy also offers low-flow showerheads, aerators, clothes washers, dish washers, and spray valves to customers of Aurora Water. Aurora Water strives to achieve a 10% reduction in GPCD by 2040.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

Aurora Water has studied energy efficiency measures for many years. In 2011, a formal Energy Master Plan study was commissioned to identify cost-effective energy saving measures for AW’s facilities. Among the desired outcomes of the study was to establish a baseline carbon footprint and a methodology for long term measurement and tracking and to evaluate the potential for renewable energy and energy recovery. The Energy Master Plan study identified multiple programs and projects that have been implemented over a multiyear timespan. These projects include increased pump motor efficiency and replacement with more efficient parts, pump automation, major lighting upgrades, and creation of a power monitoring dashboard across all systems city-wide, along with facility-specific upgrades and installations.

Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, which treats Aurora's sewage, uses methane gas from the solid digestion processed as fuel to make enough electricity to power almost 5,000 homes.

Last Updated: September 2023

Local Government Score:
0 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city of Aurora set a goal in its 2009 Sustainability Plan to reduce local government GHG emissions 10% by 2025, using a 2007 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal 

We could not find any information regarding a local energy reduction goal for Aurora. 

Renewable Energy Goal

We could not find any information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal for Aurora. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition 

Aurora’s SmartFleet Action Plan establishes a plan to set goals for replacing convention vehicles with “clean and green vehicles,” but we were unable to find information regarding vehicle type or fuel efficiency requirements in the city. Aurora’s municipal fleet is composed of 0.75% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and plug-in hybrids vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Aurora has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. We were unable to confirm if Aurora has an outdoor lighting upgrade program. 

Inclusive procurement

Aurora does not have inclusive procurement and contracting processes. However, Aurora does screen contractors to ensure they do not have a history of violating workplace laws or other regulatory protections. 

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Aurora does not have data on building benchmarking.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We did not find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy in Aurora.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

While Aurora does not provide reduced-emission transportation benefits to municipal staff, they do sponsor multiple bike to work days for employees each year.

Last update: February 2024