City of Boulder earns 'exemplary' award for water, energy conservation

The ACEEE and the AWE have recognized the City of Boulder’s Energy Performance Contract as an “exemplary program” that saves both energy and water.

Feb. 4, 2013 -- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) have recognized the City of Boulder’s Energy Performance Contract as an “exemplary program” that saves both energy and water. On Jan. 22, 2013, the Energy Performance Contract (EPC) was honored for its innovative, cost-effective approach to reducing energy and water use at 66 city facilities.

The first-ever ACEEE and AWE awards for exceptional efficiency recognized five exemplary programs, each representing a different region of the United States and a different model of combining water and energy efficiency. The EPC allowed the City of Boulder to enter into a 2009 lease purchase agreement with McKinstry to implement efficiency upgrades that will be paid off over time using the guaranteed savings from reduced energy and water bills. The upgrades do not cost Boulder taxpayers any additional money and the community will benefit from reduced operations and maintenance costs.

The inherent connection between water and energy consumption prompted the city to implement the EPC as a joint efficiency program. Water is needed to generate energy, and it requires a significant amount of energy to treat water and wastewater and to deliver drinking water. Water conservation measures at certain city facilities, such as the replacement of existing water fixtures with low-flow devices, has resulted in a total reduction of 2,796 kilo-gallons. These improvements help to preserve Boulder's invaluable water supply while simultaneously reducing energy use.

The city’s strategic investments in energy efficiency, renewable technologies and water-saving devices will be offset by decreased utility bills and maintenance costs. For example, the new HVAC and lighting systems use less energy and are designed to last longer. The city's facility maintenance backlog will also be reduced by $1.8 million due to the installation of newer, more efficient and longer-lasting equipment.

“The Energy Performance Contract is a prime example of city programs that are both environmentally and fiscally responsible,” said Facilities and Fleet Manager Joe Castro. “These improvements highlight the huge potential for savings when water and energy efficiency measures are combined.”

About the ACEEE

ACEEE is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments and behaviors. For more information, visit

About the AWE

AWE is a stakeholder-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water. Headquartered in Chicago, the alliance serves as an advocate for water-efficient products and programs, and provides information and assistance for water conservation efforts. For more information, visit


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