Powering Strong Communities

Emissions Reductions From Utility Collaboration Detailed by Platte River Power Authority

A regional utility collaboration in Northern Colorado recently calculated results for 2023, reporting that about 1,700 homes and 500 businesses collectively reduced carbon emissions by more than 6,800 tons through various programs and initiatives, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emission rates for the Rocky Mountain region.

Efficiency Works is a collaboration of utility efficiency programs for Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, and is managed by Platte River Power Authority, the wholesale electricity provider for these Colorado communities.

Over the last decade, Efficiency Works programs have invested nearly $80 million in the owner communities by offering carbon reduction incentives, home and business assessments, energy advising and more, Platte River said.

Raj Singam Setti, chief operating officer for innovation and resource strategy integration at Platte River, said that through collaboration “with our owner communities, we have incentivized residences and businesses to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions while reinvesting millions in our owner communities over the past decade.”

Efficiency Works expanded offerings in 2023 beyond traditional energy efficiency programs to help customers contribute to the region’s energy transition.

This expansion included shifting residential initiatives toward building electrification to help customers transition from natural gas to electricity for heating purposes. They also expanded customer information on electric vehicles and introduced an EV public charger incentive for commercial customers.

Further, Efficiency Works programs and staff increased their focus on serving income-qualified customers through innovative partnerships, resulting in a 3.5-fold increase in available funds for investment in vulnerable households.

Since Platte River’s owner communities combined efforts to form Efficiency Works in 2014, commercial and residential customers have reduced their electric usage by more than 215,000 megawatt hours, equivalent to the average annual energy consumption of nearly 25,000 homes in the owner communities or reducing carbon emission by over 113,000 tons.

“Successful programs from 2023 will serve as the foundation for customer programs in 2024, creating opportunities to help customers integrate distributed energy resources and technologies into the virtual power plant (VPP) that is currently under development. The VPP is a key part of Platte River’s plan to maintain the reliability of an increasingly renewable energy portfolio,” Platte River said.

“Last year's expansion into building electrification and enhanced focus on serving income-qualified customers demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and equity,” said Singam Setti. “Looking ahead, we remain dedicated to guiding customers toward efficient energy usage and embracing emerging technologies like EVs, ensuring a greener, more resilient energy future.”

Efficiency Works programs are available to residential or commercial customers of Estes Park Power and Communications, Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont Power & Communications and Loveland Water and Power. 

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