Less than half of Boulder's climate tax went to resident rebates

Tax money intended for energy upgrades, audits

BOULDER, Colo. - Less than half of the money the city of Boulder collected with the intention of helping residents complete energy efficiency upgrades was actually spent on that purpose, records show.

According to the Daily Camera, the city of Boulder collected $5.3 million through the Climate Action Plan tax.

Just 41 percent of that money was spent on rebates and incentives for homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades, energy audits and consulting.

The remaining was spent on personnel, marketing and overhead, the newspaper found.

This November, the city is asking voters to approve an extension of the tax on their utility bills for another five years. 

City leaders told the newspaper they understand residents may be frustrated more money hasn't gone directly to the rebates, but admit it took time to develop the program and the money that was spent has helped thousands.

A report from the Boulder-based Rocky Mountain Institute found that Boulder had made "impressive" improvements in energy savings.  It also found the city would expect to see the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency upgrades increase over time as the start-up costs are now behind the city.