Aspen funds energy efficiency program with ‘Robin Hood’ mechanism

Thirty low- and moderate-income Pitkin county homeowners will get an energy efficiency makeover from the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, the Aspen Times reports.

Those improvements are paid for by "a unique type of Robin Hood program" that collects fees from homes and businesses bigger than 5,000 square feet.

The program's operators told the paper that each homeowner who participated last year is saving $277 annually on their electricity and gas bills.

More on the improvements:

The on-the-spot energy improvements include efficient lighting, programmable thermostats and water-heater blankets.

The applicants also are eligible for $2,100 in a broad range of improvements that could include insulation, air sealing of gaps and a new boiler or furnace. For expenses beyond the $2,500 Reach grant, homeowners can apply for a low-interest loan from the Energy Smart Revolving Loan Program.

[Lucy Kessler, CORE’s communication and outreach manager,] said the organization’s goal is to reach people who otherwise couldn’t afford the energy assessment and don’t explore ways of improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

Reach grants were given to 27 homeowners in Pitkin County last year. The upgrades for participants averaged $3,275, showing that people were willing to get the low-interest loans to boost efficiency, Kessler said.

Read more at the Aspen Times.