Boulder awards four energy projects with more than $157,000 in grants

BOULDER — The City of Boulder has selected four projects as winners of the 2017 Boulder Energy Challenge for innovation grants totaling $157,600.

“The energy challenge-funded projects all take an innovative approach to reduce our community climate impact and move us forward on reaching our climate commitment goals,” Jamie Harkins, City of Boulder sustainability coordinator, said in a prepared statement. “All the projects specifically address existing barriers to achieving significant emissions reductions.”

Fifteen projects applied, and they were evaluated based on factors such as potential greenhouse gas emission reduction, renewable energy creation and scalability. Six finalists were selected and presented at a community pitch event on Sept. 13. Two ideas, EVmatch and C3 Boulder, each received $1,000 based on a tie vote from the public for favorite presentation.

Two projects each won for emissions reduction. They were:

  • EVmatch, which plans to leverage its mobile software application to build a community charging network in Boulder. Through the application, any electric vehicle driver can find, reserve and pay for the use of a charging station. Through a charging network, there can be more reliability for charging electric vehicles and therefore more people driving using electric vehicles. The project got $50,000.
  • Rocky Mountain Institute: Unlocking Leasing Solutions for Net Zero Energy is a project that aims to increase the adoption of green lease practices in Boulder. The Rocky Mountain Institute will launch a training and outreach campaign in Boulder to expand adoption of net zero energy leasing in commercial buildings. The outreach campaign will provide training for building owners, tenants and brokers as well as work with the biggest property owners and managers in Boulder to increase green practices in building leasing. The project got a $49,100 grant.

Two other projects won for community mobilization. They were:

  • C3 Boulder and Impact Hub Academy’s Boulder.Earth Community Portal, a web portal that will bring together existing organizations and volunteers working on climate action in Boulder. The system will have centralized communication and will be an online community that can maximize resources, work with volunteers and increase collaboration. The web portal project got a $38,500 grant.
  • The Just Transition Collaborative: Toward an Equitable Energy Transition for the City of Boulder, is a project to build representation of underserved communities and have more equity in climate and energy decisions and planning in Boulder. The project will guide Boulder’s Climate Action Plan to be more equitable and inclusive. The project will also pilot an inclusive renewable energy and energy efficiency workforce development program, as well as conduct research on existing programs and potential new ones to make them equitable for the entire community. This project won $20,000.

In all, $157,600 was awarded to the winners. The Boulder Energy Challenge projects are meant to accelerate Boulder’s plan to reach its goal of an 80 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Funding came from the Climate Action Plan tax.