Renewable Energy Mitigation Program – Aspen and Pitkin County, CO

Date: 15 Jan 2009 | posted in: Energy, environment | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In 2000, Aspen and Pitkin County in Colorado launched the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP). The program charges new homeowners one fee if their homes exceed 5,000 sq. ft. and another fee up to$100,000 if they exceed the "energy budget" allotted to their property by the local building code. As of Fall 2002, REMP has raised more than$2 million for local energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

REMP’s goal is to keep three tons of carbon out of the air for every excess ton of carbon put into the air.

Byadopting the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program, local officials aimed to address a number of unsustainable energy trends. For example:

  • The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of oil and natural gas.
  • The U.S. has five percent of the world’s people, yet the U.S. consumes 25 percent of the world’s oil.
  • U.S. production of oil and gas peaked 30 years ago, and reliance on imported oil and natural gas grows each year.

TheCity of Aspen and Pitkin County’s REMP is designed to offset the environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions produced by non-complying exterior snowmelt, pool, and spa systems and the fossil fuel use and emissions from homes exceeding 5,000 square feet.

Feescollected by the program are used to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy installations in the City of Aspen and Pitkin County and, if necessary, purchase wind energy from wind generators in Colorado or Wyoming. The program is administered by the Board of Directors of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE).

REMPhas two fees. One based on the size of the new home and the other based on whether or not the home has a non-complying exterior snowmelt, pool, and spa systems.

The first fee applies to houses over 5,000 sq. ft. This includes a new home or remodel over 5000 sq. ft. The homeowner is required to offset a small portion of their fossil fuel energy consumption through the use of on-site renewable energy or through a flat fee payment to REMP.

The on-site renewable energy requirement can be met by the installation of a two-kilowatt photovoltaic or equivalent renewable energy system. This requirement can be alternatively handled off-site by payment of a REMP fee as follows:

    over 5,000 sq. ft. – $5,000.00

    over 10,000 sq. ft. – $10,000.00

The other fee is related to equipment for snowmelt, pools and spas. Each is given a standard of energy use as follows:

  • Snowmelt energy use = 34,425 BTU/yr/sq.ft. at 100% equipment efficiency.
  • Pools energy use intended for year round use = 332000 BTU/yr/sq.ft at 100% equipment efficiency.
  • Pools energy use intended for summer use only = 29000 BTU/yr/sq.ft at 100% equipment efficiency.
  • Spas = 430,000 BTU/yr/sq.ft at 100% equipment efficiency.

Thefollowing are examples of how the REMP fees would be calculated for new residences using equipment for snowmelt, spas, and/or pools.

Snowmelt Example
(Snowmelt requested 500 sq. ft.)

(34,425(BTU per sq. ft. per year) /.87 (efficiency rating of boiler))*500 (snowmelt area) = 19,784,482 (BTU/yr)/3412 (kWh per BTU) = 5798.5 (kWh/yr)* 20(years)* .07/kWh =$8,117.90

REMP fee will be $8,117.90

Pool Example
(Pool summer use only 600 sq. ft.)

(29000(BTU per sq. ft. per year)/.87 (efficiency rating of boiler))*600 (pool area) = 20,000,000 (BTU/yr)/3412 (kWh per BTU) = 5861.66 (kWh/yr)*20(years)* .07/kWh = $8,206.00

REMP fee will be $8,206.00

Pool Example 2
(Pool year around outdoor use 600 sq. ft.)

(332000 (BTU per sq. ft. per year) / .87 (efficiency rating of boiler))*600 (pool area) = 228,965,520 (BTU/yr) / 3412 (kWh per BTU) = 67,105.95 (kWh/yr)*20 (years)*.07/kWh = $93,948.00

REMP fee will be $93,948.00

Spa Example
(Spa 100 sq. ft. year around use)

(430000(BTU per sq. ft. per year) / .87 (efficiency rating of boiler))* 100 (spa area) = 49,425,287 (BTU/yr) / 3412 (kWh per BTU) = 14,485.72 (kWh/yr)*20 (years)* .07/kWh = $20,280.00

REMP fee will be $20,280.00


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