State and Local Policy Database

Colorado Springs

City Scorecard Rank

72

Colorado Springs, CO

19.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
0.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Colorado Springs does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet policies and composition 

PlanCOS outlines the city's support of the transition to zero-emissions vehicle fleet as a part of reaching renewable electricity and greenhouse gas reduction goals. We were unable to determine if Colorado Springs has adopted fleet efficiency requirements but the city is developing an Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan, which will include plans converting the city fleet to electric and establishing public EV adoption. We were unable to determine the current composition of the city's fleet. 

Public lighting 

Colorado Springs has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance, but the city is currently conducting a pilot to determine the feasibility of dimming streetlights during low-traffice overnight hours. Approximately 10% of streetlights have been converted to LED. 

Onsite renewable systems

We were unable to find information regarding onsite or offsite renewable energy systems in Colorado Springs.

Inclusive procurement 

While we were unable to verify if these policies had been applied to energy projects, Colorado Springs promotes municipal procurement and contracting from small, minority, and women-owned businesses. The city established a Small/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program to ensure utilization of such businesses. All contracts over $50,000 are reviewed by the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) to set minimum contracting goals for minority-owned business enterprises and women-owned business enterprises,

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

We were unable to determine if Colorado Springs benchmarks municipal building energy use. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategies 

We were unable to find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy in Colorado Springs. 

Last updated: June 2021

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Colorado Springs adopted the PlanCOS plan, which includes general intentions to achieve clean energy objectives. The city’s municipal utility, Colorado Springs Utilities, has developed the Energy Vision plan to advance clean energy efforts.

Last updated: June 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

While the city has not adopted a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, Colorado Springs Utilities is currently updating its Electric Integrated Resource Plan to include multiple carbon-emission reduction scenarios, from an 80% reduction in emissions by 2030, up to a fully carbon-neutral electricity system.

Energy Reduction 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.

Energy Data Reporting

Colorado Springs Utilities reports community-wide energy data.

Last updated: June 2021

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

While developing the PlanCOS general plan, Colorado Springs conducted engagement events in traditionally underrepresented communities. The city’s planning team also engaged with community organizations that represented a variety of interest groups that contributed to the creation of the plan.

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.

Accountability to Equity

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: June 2021

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

Colorado Springs Utilities allows customers to subscribe to community solar systems. The Colorado Solar Gardens Act requires community solar projects to carve out shares for low-income subscribers. 

Though not yet complete, the city intends to develop a microgrid feasibility study and action plan. The city has applied for a Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ (DOLA) Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance program grant to fund this project.  

Last updated: June 2021

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The COS 150 Tree Challenge established a goal of planting 18,071 new trees in Colorado Springs by 2021.

UHI 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. 

Last updated: June 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 9 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Colorado Springs adopted the 2017 Regional Building Code. The city has extensive code compliance verification procedures. Colorado Spring Utilities also offers several rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All

Overview

The State of Colorado is a home rule state meaning local jurisdictions may set their own building codes, if they choose to, for both residential and commercial construction. Localities that choose to set or update a building code must adopt one of the three most recent versions of the International Energy Conservation Code at a minimum. Colorado Springs adopted the 2017 Regional Building Code which incorporates the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. To learn more about the Colorado building codes, please visit the State Policy Database.

Commercial

Commercial buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC. The code uses a commercial zEPI score of 53.6.

Residential

Residential buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC. The code uses a residential zEPI score of 54.7.

Solar-readiness policies

The city has not adopted solar-ready ordinances. 

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

The city has not adopted EV ready ordinances. The City (in the Strategic Plan) supports the transition to zero emission vehicles and advancing the adoption of EVs in the community to assist in reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2040 and reduce GHG by 90% by 2050. The City is currently reviewing vendor proposals for developing an Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan. The goal of this plan is to convert city and utility fleets to electric, as well as establish public EV adoption incentives.
 

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

 The building code and associated Energy Conservation code is administered by Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, which employes over 100 people; however, we could not find information on the number of full-time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code. Colorado Springs requires plan reviews, site inspections, and performance testing to ensure code compliance. The city provides upfront support through regularly updated materials and walk-in consultation.

Last updated: July 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Incentives

Colorado Springs Utilities offers rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy technology to residential and commercial customers.

The city's Builder Incentive Program encourages Colorado Springs homebuilders to construct high-efficiency homes. Qualified homes must are eligible for energy incentives beginning at $400. A bonus $350 incentive is available to those homes that are certified to meet ENERGY STAR, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Passive House. 

Homes designed and built to operate efficiently using only electricity but located within our natural gas service territory have access to a pilot rebate of $3,000 if meeting specific requirements. 

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 dislcosure 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 sqaure feet.

Time of Sale Requirement  

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

Last updated: August 2021

 

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

We could not verify if the city has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: July 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 3 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Colorado Springs Utilities, a municipally-owned utility (MOU), is the primary electric and gas utility for the City of Colorado Springs. 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, but does not require filings for home-rule municipal utilities. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Colorado page of the State Database.

Colorado Springs Utilities also provides the city with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: July 2021

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2019, according to Colorado Springs Utilities, they had 28,478 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.61% of its electric retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Colorado Springs. In 2019, CSU spent $3,878,435 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 0.87% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, CSU reported savings of 0.59 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.27% of its natural gas retail sales. In 2019, CSU spent $666,185 on energy efficiency, which equates to $3.55 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover CSU’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs Utilities offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Colorado Springs Utilities offers the Home Efficiency Assistance Program (HEAP). CSU partners with the Energy Resource Center to deliver the program, as Energy Resource Center technicians work with customers throughout the entire weatherization process on how they can improve energy and water efficiency in their home, and how they can maintain newly installed appliances. Additional services customers may receive include weatherstripping, insulation to attics, sidewalls, and crawlspaces, new high-efficient showerheads and refrigerators. The program is available to property owners in single family or multifamily buildings with income at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Colorado Springs Utilities also offers the Electric-Efficiency Product Promotion (EEPP) Program which aims to help low-income customers conserve energy and reduce their monthly electricity costs. Through the program, 520 lights were distributed free of charge to local agencies: Partners in Housing, Family Promise, Springs Rescue Mission and Ronald McDonald House.

In 2019, according to CSU, it achieved 163 MWh and 0.20 MMtherms in energy savings, while spending $133,097 and $484,308 on electric and natural gas low-income programs, respectively. CSU served 222 low-income customers in 2019.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, CSU does not offer energy efficiency program targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Colorado Springs Utilities does not currently provide automated ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking for multi-tenant commercial or multifamily buildings.

The City of Colorado Springs does not provide community-wide energy usage information at the aggregate level for community planning and evaluation purposes.

The City of Colorado Springs 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: July 2021

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2020, Colorado Springs Utilities set a carbon reduction goal of 80% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. We were unable to determine the baseline year nor emissions to measure the stringency of this goal.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

We were unable to determine the carbon emissions per capita from Colorado Springs Utilities in 2019.

Last Updated: July 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Colorado Springs Utilities is both the electric and water utility for the City of Colorado Springs. The utility offers rebates for both water and energy efficiency products. In 2017, Colorado Springs Utilities completed an Integrated Water Resources Plan that recommended a balanced portfolio of water resources including Demand Management activities of 11,000-13,000 acre-ft per year. The city also has a water use efficiency plan that is updated formally every five to seven years.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

The water utility has not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: July 2021

Transportation
Score: 2.5 out of 30
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City of Colorado Springs does not yet have a codified VMT reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Colorado Springs is not yet tracking community GHG or VMT levels

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning 

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Residential Parking Requirements

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosures

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Target 

No data or city is not pursuing 

Progress Toward Mode Shift Target

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place.

Complete Streets

No Policy Found 

Car Sharing

The City has 3 different car sharing programs that are offered by Mountain Metro Transit: carpool, schoolpool, and vanpool matching.

Bike Sharing

PikeRide is Colorado Springs bikeshare partner. It has over 208 smart bikes that residents and visitors can rent per hour, day, month or year.

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of Colorado Springs have received $25,110,895 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $33.98 per capita between 2014 and 2018 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Colorado Springs Transit Connectivity Index value is 3, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Currently, Nissan is extending its offer of $3,500 off the Nissan LEAF to Colorado Springs residents until January 2, 2020. Additionally, residents can receive a potential federal tax incentive for up to $7,500 and a Colorado state tax incentive of $5,000.

Residents interested in the program must provide a flyer (both pages) and proof of residence (car registration, utility bill, mortgage, lease, or rental contract) to a participating Nissan dealership.

Incentives for EV Charging Stations

Neither the City of Colorado Springs or any of the utilities that service it's resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV charging infrastrucutre at this time. 

EV Infrastructure

The City has 38 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 8.039 stations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Neither the City of Colorado Springs or any of the utilities that service its resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV charging infrastrucutre powered by renewables at this time. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Colorado Springs does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2020

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy 

Colorado Springs does not have any policies in place to address or help encourage affordable TOD housing development. 

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

 The City of Colorado Springs makes available One-Ride bus passes to agencies that serve indivuals experienceing homelessness and low income individuals receiving case management support. Approximately 10,000 passes are available for distribution during the City budget cycle.         

 

Last Updated: March 2020