State Energy Program Seeks Life After Stimulus

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1min 42sec

A state-run energy program that was originally funded with federal stimulus money is becoming a private-sector nonprofit today. "Recharge Colorado" is hoping to prove there's life after the stimulus.

This is a transcript of Mike Lamp’s report:

Reporter Mike Lamp: Recharge Colorado started in the Governor's Energy Office. It connects homeowners with utilities that offer financial incentives for green energy. Now that federal stimulus money is going away, Recharge is going out on its own. As a non-profit, it will collect fees for its services from small electric co-ops and municipalities. Recharge Colorado's incoming CEO, Jeffrey Nathanson, says the program is now trying to figure out what they are willing to pay for.

Jeffrey Nathanson: Part of our focus over the next several months is going to be understanding what the needs are of those utilities that are out there, and the kinds of products and services that we can bring to bear to generate those revenues to keep us sustained.

Reporter: Recharge Colorado was built to keep running after the federal money from ARRA - the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act - dried up. That makes it unique among the many stimulus-funded programs in the Governor's Energy Office. Other projects have ended, but spokeswoman Denise Stepto says they could have lasting benefits. She cites a program that hired veterans to help make houses more energy-efficient.

Denise Stepto: Veterans Green Jobs used the ARRA funding contract that we had, not only to weatherize homes, but also hire vets, that would become more skilled in the field of energy efficiency, so that when the ARRA funding dropped down, they would be better positioned to go out and find good paying jobs.

Reporter: Altogether, the Governor's Energy Office spent about $138 million in federal stimulus money.