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City of Westminster to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency for local businesses through HVAC system upgrades

City will receive $180,000 for pollution prevention project through EPA’s Source Reduction Assistance grant program

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DENVER – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the City of Westminster, Colorado (City) as a recipient of $180,000 in EPA Source Reduction Assistance grant funding to implement pollution prevention practices. The City will use the funding to provide energy assessments and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades to owners of local commercial buildings, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving building energy performance.

“Climate change continues to be the challenge of our lifetime, and it takes work at the local, state, and national level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change,” said EPA Regional Administrator, KC Becker. “This grant will provide energy and cost savings to businesses in Westminster, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the data collected from this project will provide valuable information for other organizations and government agencies considering energy efficiency projects. We commend the City of Westminster for working with local building owners to prevent pollution at the source and congratulate the City on this award.”

“The City of Westminster is excited to receive the EPA Region 8’s Source Reduction Assistance-Pollution Prevention Grant,” said Jody Andrews, Deputy City Manager for the City of Westminster. “Through these funds, the City is proud to launch a new program that will provide technical and financial assistance to large commercial property owners to adopt high-efficiency HVAC and energy systems and reduce their energy-use. This project will help Westminster businesses save money on new, efficient equipment and reduce their utility bills while supporting the City’s mission to foster economic resilience for our community.”

A ductless mini-split heat pump, one example of the types of energy efficient equipment anticipated to be installed through the City of Westminster’s project. (Photo Credit: Boulder County)

With the grant funds, the City will provide technical and financial analysis tools and corresponding assistance services to commercial building owners in Westminster. The project will exclusively focus services on approximately 115 large commercial buildings located in Westminster who, in accordance with the State of Colorado’s Building Performance Colorado (BPC) program, are required to report annual building energy use data through the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.

Through the project, the City will:

  • Provide free information on energy performance improvement opportunities and technical assistance to all owners of commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger in size;
  • Provide customized reports showing cost-benefit analyses for energy efficiency equipment replacement scenarios to owners of the 50 lowest performing/least efficient large commercial buildings;
  • Provide partial rebates to building owners who install energy efficient equipment;
  • Host educational energy efficiency workforce development training sessions for HVAC contractors that service Westminster and the surrounding region; and
  • Create case studies that highlight the energy efficiency/HVAC upgrades completed by building owners through the project, and present information to regional and state partners and governments.

The City estimates the project will generate:

  • $25,000,000 total lifetime cost savings (average savings of $500,000/building)
  • 120,000,000 Kilowatt Hours (kWh) total lifetime energy unit savings (average savings of 2,400,000 kWh/building)
  • 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) total lifetime GHG emissions reduced (average emissions reduced of 2,000 MTCO2e/building)

EPA’s Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program supports research, experiments, surveys, demonstration projects, education and training related to source reduction approaches which is also known as “pollution prevention” or “P2.” Pollution prevention practices reduce the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering a waste stream or otherwise released into the environment prior to recycling of discarded material, treatment, or disposal. P2 reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of those substances, pollutants, or contaminants.

For these grants, EPA prioritized funding for projects that are designed to achieve measurable reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, projects that result in reduced generation and use of hazardous materials, projects that address reducing use of natural resources such as energy or water, and projects that support environmental justice for underserved communities.

Learn more about P2 and the SRA and P2 grant programs.

Learn more about the City of Westminster’s Sustainability Program.

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Author: Region 08

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