By Conor McCue

DENVER (CBS4) – The City and County of Denver will soon cut residents a major break for making energy-efficient upgrades in their homes and modes of transportation. It’s all part of a new rebate program launching on Friday.

It could mean hundreds of dollars in savings on electric water pumps, solar panels, electric bicycles and more.

(credit: CBS)

The whole idea is to make the, at times, costly switch away from fossil fuels more affordable and attainable for people.

“We are just trying to chip away at the cost of these projects so that they’ll be more affordable for homeowners,” said Grace Rink, Chief Climate Officer for City and County of Denver.

From full-suspension bikes to beach cruisers and everything in between, eBikes USA in Cherry Creek North has anything a climate-minded commuter may be looking for. While the interest in electric bikes is growing, owner Houshmand Moarefi knows there’s often one thing keeping people away.

“We recognize that price has been a barrier for many people to adapt to an electric bicycle,” Moarefi said.

Soon, that barrier will be lowered. On Friday, e-bikes at his store and nine others will be included in Denver’s Climate Action Rebates, a program funded by a sales tax increase approved in 2020.

Residents will be able apply for a $400 instant rebate on an e-bike purchase from a participating bike shop. Income-qualified residents may qualify for a $1,200 instant rebate.

“In order to really move the market toward electrification for our homes and also for vehicles, the market needs help,” said Rink. “We need to inject more funding into it because some of these projects are more expensive.”

The program, which all Denver residents can take part in, also includes major rebates for other energy efficient upgrades, including heating pumps, solar panels, and electric car charging equipment.

(credit: CBS)

Similar rebates are also offered by Xcel Energy currently.

With the city’s program, only existing construction is eligible for in home upgrades, and rebates can cover up to 80% of the total installed project cost or incentive amounts, whichever is lower.

“The people of Denver really want to contribute to the solutions of climate change,” Rink said. “I think folks are excited about this and we want to get the information out there that their tax dollars are at work.”

That excitement is why Moarefi has been stocking up bikes for months, despite supply chain issues. He’ll also offer additional financial help to get more people interested in making the switch.

“We want individuals that can take advantage of the city’s rebate, but we also want to incentivize and put more people that may need additional help,” Moarefi said.

“This is a chance to utilize electric bicycles instead of driving your car for short distances.”

Conor McCue