City of Boulder
United States

Population: 105112
Area of jurisdiction: 66.5 km2

Commitments

  Community Government
Absolute base year GHG reduction target: 80% by 2050 (1990) 80% by 2050 (2008)
Baseline scenario (BAU) GHG reduction target: n/a n/a
Fixed-level GHG reduction target: n/a n/a
Carbon intensity reduction target: n/a n/a
Renewable energy target: 60% by 2050 60% by 2050
Energy efficiency target: 20% by 2050 (2010) 20% by 2050 (2011)
Government and Community: CO2(e) targets

Performance

Community GHG Emissions
Total ( n/a ):  0 tCO2e
Government GHG Emissions
Total ( 2011 ):  41,391 tCO2e

Other available GHG inventories: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Mitigation actions

Boulder's Climate Commitment
  Start year  
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
White Paper on Options to Work with Xcel Energy to Achieve Boulder’s Energy Future Goals
In early 2011, City Council adopted a set of Energy Future Goals which guide the overall project by prioritizing renewable energy, emissions reductions, high reliability, local decision-making, and economic vitality. These goals guide both how a local electric utility would function as well as how the city could partner with Xcel Energy to develop a new relationship that improves on the traditional franchise arrangement. In December 2012, staff presented a white paper developed internally to propose some innovative ways of partnering with Xcel Energy to achieve those goals. Start year  
Sector  
Type Assessment/Research
Status Completed
File download
Municipalization Feasibility Exploration
Aided by approximately 50 community volunteers with diverse energy industry expertise, city staff and consultants refined and updated the 2011 analysis of the economic and technical feasibility of forming a Boulder local electric utility. The analysis was presented in February and July 2013. It showed that Boulder could form a local electric utility that exceeds the renewable energy provided by Xcel Energy, dramatically reduces associated carbon emissions on day 1, and ensures equal or greater reliability, with a high likelihood of costs at or below those charged by Xcel Energy (the current private utility). In August 2013, City Council voted to authorize staff to move forward with acquiring the local distribution system, while also emphasizing the need to continue partnership discussions with Xcel Energy. Aspects of the cost and governance of municipalizing are on the November 2013 ballot. Start year  
Sector  
Type Assessment/Research
Status Completed
File download
Boulder Green Building and Green Points Program
The Boulder Green Building and Green Points Program (GBGP) is a mandatory residential green building program that requires specific level of sustainable building practices based on the size of the proposed structure. Similar to the US Green Building Council's LEED program, the GBGP program has mandatory requirements (for energy efficiency and waste reduction) and then allows options from a menu of sustainable building practices to satisfy the "point" requirements of the program. Renewable energy technologies are among the optional components a builder can use to earn points. New building projects must show energy efficiency compliance through the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). The GBGP program for residential remodels and additions includes tiered, abovecode energy efficiency (between 15 to 50 percent depending on the size of the addition), lighting, and air sealing requirements. Start year 2007
Sector  
Type Regulatory
Status Completed
File download
Energy Smart
EnergySmart service ia county‐wide energy efficiency program. The funding has been provided by a Better Buildings grant, city of Boulder, Boulder County and other jurisdictions and some utility support. EnergySmart provides energy efficiency assessments for homes and businesses. Boulder residents and businesses can receive limited rebates and low‐rate financing options for EnergySmart services. Boulder County and Elevations Credit Union developed a partnership to have the Credit Union provide new energy efficiency loan products with a loan loss reserve funds provided by the grant. Start year  
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Completed
File download
Climate Action Plan Tax
On November 7, 2006, Boulder voters approved Initiative 202, the Climate Action Plan Tax, marking the first time in the nation that a municipal government will impose an energy tax on its residents to directly combat global warming. The Initiative passed with 60% of voters for the measure. City residents and businesses are taxed based on the amount of electricity they consume. The City Council has the authority to set the rate for each user type within an approved range. Since July 2009, the rates have been set at the maximum allowable level. The CAP tax generated approximately $1.8 million in 2010. The CAP tax was renewed by voters on November 6, 2012. Start year 2006
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Completed
File download
GO Boulder Alternative Transportation Program
City's GO Boulder program promotes alternative modes of transportation. Through webpage, and the GO Boulder team includes a city ETC who is responsible for outreach to city employees to encourae the use of transportation options. This program included employee orientation, pick up and use of Eco PAss, vanpool and ride sharing assistance, discounted annual memberships to Boulder B‐Cycle, use of eGo Carshare vehicles, Bike to Work day cooridation, managerment of carpool parking program, analysis of employee parking supply/demand and price, and other promotions and giveaways. Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status In progress
File download
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The city has installed 11 Level 2 (220V) charging stations with 4 available for public use. Two solar powered Level 2 stations and three electric powered level 2 stations will be installed before the end of 2013 for public use. See website link for other charging stations available in the city that have been installed by others. Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download
Boulder Electric Municipalization Study - Community Guide
Through the approval of ballot measures 2b/2c in 2011, voters asked the city to explore different options that could deliver our community clean, reliable, low-cost, local energy. Over the past year, teams of world-class consultants and community stakeholder working groups began an unprecedented analysis of the challenges and opportunities of possible solutions––including creating a local power utility Start year  
Sector  
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File download
Solar Rebate Program
The solar rebate program offers a sales and use tax rebate of approximately 15 percent on qualifying solar PV and solar thermal installations. In 2010, 44 rebates totaling $5,650 were issued for 235 kW of solar PV and 130 kBTU of solar thermal. Start year 2010
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File download
Solar Grants Committee
The Solar Grants Committee, composed of community members and city and county staff, awarded just over $64,000 from city sales tax grant funds in 2010. This funding contributed to the installation of approximately 82 kW of solar PV on local nonprofits and affordable housing Start year 2010
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File download
Commumity Guide to Boulder's Climate Action Plan 2010/2011 Progress Report
This 2010/2011 Progress Report provides a snapshot of how we as a community are doing in our climate action efforts. While it focuses primarily on city-initiated programs, it also speaks to overall community progress in working toward this important goal. Climate action is a shared initiative in which the city is facilitator, collaborator, supporter, regulator, leader and funder Start year  
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File download
Transportation Master Plan
The Transportation Master Plan (TMP) has a goal of reducing the number of trips made by one person driving alone in a car to 25% of all trips by Boulder residents by 2025. The 1996 TMP update adopted a goal of holding vehicle miles traveled (VMT) steady at 1994 levels. As of 2012, the city is achieving this goal. Start year 1989
Sector Transport
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Rocky Mountain Institute report on Climate Action Plan Tax
To assist in determining the optimal approach to program design, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) worked with the City of Boulder to conduct a thorough analysis of all Boulder demand side management (DSM) programs funded through the Climate Action Plan Tax. Specifically, RMI examined 19 residential, commercial, and renewable energy programs using a modified utility cost test (UCT) approach to determine their full lifetime emissions reductions and the cost/benefit ratio for each program. c effectiveness. Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Assessment/Research
Status Completed
File download
Streetlighting Automation
All existing street lights (both utility‐owned and city‐owned), are controlled by individual photo cells, turning on at dusk and off at dawn. A new city‐owned street light system currently under construction will feature wireless remote monitoring and control. The lights will turn on at a programmed time, and will be dimmed during lower traffic activity periods. Start year  
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download
Lighting Efficiency Upgrades
As part of city's energy performance contract, indoor and outdoor lighting was upgraded in city facilities and properties from 2010 to 2013. For example, in Phase III work to be completed in 2013,retrofits in city buildings include lighting upgrades and additional bike path lighting. Most of the building lighting systems were not LEDs due to the high costs of LEDs. The traffic signals have all been converted to LED signals. Street lighting is currently largely owned by a private utility and they have not allowed conversions to LEDs. In the past several years, the city has started to install their own street lighting initially using induction lamps, beginning this year, LEDs. Start year  
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download
Efficient Fleet Vehicle Procurement
The Fleet Services division has a goal that at least 90 percent of all new vehicle purchases be alternatively fueled, meaning biodiesel (B‐20), E‐85, propane, hybrid or electric powered. Currently, 295 of the 440 total vehicles in the city Fleet (67 percent) are classified as alternative fuel vehicles ‐‐ 105 biodiesel‐capable, 41 hybrids, 145 ethanol/gasoline, 4 propane, and 3 all‐electric vehicles Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Organizational/Governance
Status In progress
File download

Adaptation actions

Urban Forestry
Benefit of Urban Forestry program is reduction in the heat island effect. Its activities include a ten‐year pruning rotation, planting trees, and a public education campaign on proper tree selection and maintenance of public trees. Beyond Urban Forestry, no explicit heat island mitigation strategy exists. There are city policies that speak to reduction of urban heat island effects. The city is also looking into more permissive regulations to encourage or incentivize green roofs to count as open space as well as requirements for large parking lots to have pavement surfacing to reflect heat. Start year  
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
Storm water Management Fund
The city has it's own flood and stormwater utility fund. Stormwater efforts include, as part of the city's MS4 permit, a requirement for education and outreach and public involvement in addition to inspection/enforcement. These outreach efforts extend to school education and an annual Children's water festival which has involved as many as 1200 students. Additionally, the city is involved in greenways improvements and participates in the regional (countywide) It Clean Partnership (KICK) effort which focus on stormwater outreach and education as managed by the city. Start year  
Sector  
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File download