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Friday August 23rd 2019

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Write City Council to Support SmartRegs!


SmartRegs is a potential city policy that will create minimum standards for energy efficiency in rental units, such as sealing gaps in windows, installing programmable thermostats, low-flow shower heads and insulation.

SmartRegs has already passed through the Landmarks Advisory Board, the Environmental Advisory Board and Planning Board. With a few minor edits to the policy it is moving on to Boulder’s City Council next. (Click here to email City Council)

The SmartRegs policy will have its first reading at the City Council Meeting on May 18th at 6 p.m. City council needs to hear support from the community about this innovative policy. Please take a moment to edit this letter and let City Council members hear that we need this policy to be passed in Boulder. (Click here to email City Council)

You can also join New Era and show up in person to make a statement!

Boulder’s City Council Meeting

May 18th, 6 p.m
City Council Chambers
1777 Broadway

(Click here to email City Council)

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2 Responses to “Write City Council to Support SmartRegs!”

  1. Louise Padden says:

    I have fought for community rights all my life, and carried petitions for WSA. However I am also the owner of a rental, and I would like to see less rush and more careful planning on the Smart Regs proposal. Something the city considers this important deserves to be well thought out and not done on the fly. Although the team incorporating suggestions from the public is considering special circumstances, I don’t think we are coming to the same conclusions. In situations where the modifications cannot be met, or the cost unable to be recaptured, there should be caps on spending.
    I own a licensed rental in a condo complex and I am very concerned at how the rules will effect our building. This is an older complex, built in 1984, with 81 units. There are four main gas boilers, and hot water baseboard heat in each unit. The gas is billed on both “ratio” billing and individual use. A great portion of the use is communal, due to the baseboard hot water heating. Because the boilers need to be on all the time to be on demand (for showers, etc.), the greatest expense is communal. The master bill is divided equally among the 81 units. This means if an individual unit conserves it will help the city and the climate, but will not be recoverable by the user/conserver.

    The water situation is even worse. There is only one meter for the entire complex and no way to monitor individual use, so there will be no economic benefit to any one tenant or owner conserving water. We will be facing large expenses that will be unable to be recaptured. Also, this mean the landlords who rent this affordable housing, will be paying for upgrades that will not directly benefit them or their tenants, while the owner/users in the complex will have no incentive to curb their own use or spend on conservation upgrades. It’s sort of like saying only odd numbered houses need comply with a requirement, perhaps encouraging the even numbers to use whatever they want.

    Along with others I’ve asked for more studies, and a cap on what must be spent, especially if it’s not recoverable. The condos I’m referring to are only 407 to 427 square feet, and after a detailed look at the credits for each upgrade, and meeting with staff at the city, I cannot find enough points regardless of the upgrades. We already have double paned windows, low energy appliances, low flow shower heads and toilets, etc. Where people have big energy uses they can control, this might work, but where there are not individual meters, and instead ratio billing, this could be a big economic burden without any recovery. At the very least please do more case studies of these older HOA situations.
    It seems the first place to start would be commercial, stores that leave their doors open with air conditioned interiors, lots of lighting, etc. But rental housing has been chosen, and there needs to be adjustments for situations like I describe. I live in a 50’s house with less of the upgrades already at the condo, I don’t know how my house will comply when they get to the single family homes that are owner/user.

  2. Mark Gelband says:

    Too much common sense. The first place to start is the approach, moving from controlling regulation – untenable at this point based on assumptions about loans and rebates – and move toward an incentive based program.

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