The City of Aspen and Pitkin County have adopted both the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)—with some amendments—and an Efficient Building Code.
The Efficient Building ordinance was adopted in 2003 with the intent to encourage cost-effective and sustainable building methods that, among other goals, conserve energy. The code applies to new, remodeled, or additions to one- and two-family dwellings and multiple family dwellings not more than 3 stories in height. These dwellings are required to earn a specific number of points by completing sustainable building practices that can include energy efficiency measures, including installing ENERGY STAR appliances, efficient lighting, and an energy-efficient boiler or furnace, or renewable energy measures, including incorporating passive solar, solar hot water heating, or a photovoltaic (PV) system.
Renewable Energy Mitigation Program
In 2000, the City of Aspen and Pitkin County launched the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP). Designed to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, REMP is the first program of its kind in the world. By requiring new homes to mitigate their environmental impacts, REMP has raised over $12 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The REMP only applies to houses of 5,000 square feet or more and homes and businesses that feature outdoor spas, pools, or snowmelt systems. Owners of these structures must either pay a REMP fee or install on-site renewable energy systems.
On-Site Renewable Credits
REMP fees associated with outdoor snowmelt systems, spas, and pools can be offset by installing PV, solar water heating, or geothermal heat pump systems. An owner of a home 5,000 square feet or greater may avoid the REMP fee by installing a 2 kilowatt (kW) PV system or an equivalent renewable energy system. Every kW of PV installed will count as $6,241.20 towards the REMP fee. Solar water heaters can offset REMP fees at $224.65 per square foot of collector area, limited to 500 square feet. Geothermal heat pumps can offset REMP fees at a rate of $6.84 per 100,000 BTU per year of the system's design.
Owners of homes 5,000 square feet or greater must pay a REMP fee equivalent to $1.00 for every square foot of their home.
The REMP payment for snowmelt systems, outdoor pools, and spas are determined by their square footage. The REMP fee for residential snowmelt systems is $34 per square foot divided by the boiler efficiency. The REMP fees for residential outdoor pools and spas are $136 and $176 per square foot, respectively, divided by the boiler efficiency. (Spas 64 square feet or smaller are exempt.)
The REMP fee for commercial (1) snowmelt systems is $60 per square foot divided by the boiler efficiency (2) outdoor pools is $170 per square foot divided by the boiler efficiency, and (3) spas is $176 per square foot divided by the boiler efficiency. Package spas 64 square feet or smaller are exempt.