Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
"Everyone in our community deserves the chance to improve the energy efficiency in their homes for their well-being and the overall health of the community. We are honored to be recognized by Bloomberg as a community focused on reducing our energy usage and making those programs more accessible." Mayor Wade Troxell, Coloradoan
Fort Collins will create a fund for incentivizing energy-efficiency upgrades of low and middle-income (LMI) rental housing. The city will test the communications messaging and mechanics of this fund by engaging rental property managers, LMI renter residents, and capital providers.
We believe our idea will positively impact families with lower means as well as property owners and owner occupied residenciesSean Carpenter, Climate Economy Advisor
What we're discovering through testing
Some City Hall staff have found the pace of testing and working in a low-fidelity way different, and sometimes uncomfortable. Despite these challenges, the team has found it helpful to explain that testing and sometimes failing quickly can save government – and therefore taxpayers – time and money. This message is received well, but changing culture and mindsets take time. The team is working hard to embed a culture of innovation in the city.
Property managers were a key group to engage in the early tests, as they hold influence over property owners. Although there was some initial distrust, the team used visual communications and open discussions to explain the process. This has helped build credibility and engagement in the project, and to reshape the opinion of the property managers during the test.
What we've learned
Through the testing phase, the Fort Collins team learned that they could attract third party investment capital to fund the loan program without depending on taxpayer dollars. To date, the team has already secured $10-12M in outside financing from the Colorado Energy Office and the First National Bank.