Rural Main Street districts are the heart of community life and economic success, but small business owners are often hard to reach with historic preservation and energy efficiency incentives. Coloradans now have an opportunity to work with state experts in both realms.
The Heritage Energy Approach
The Heritage Energy Approach was developed to assist rural Colorado Main Street building and business owners to better reinvest in their historic properties. Sustainability has long been the overarching goal of both historic preservationists (heritage conservation) and energy conservationists (environmental conservation).
By following historic preservation and energy efficiency standards and best practices, building and business owners can access multiple streams of funding that can be leveraged together to greatly reduce building rehabilitation and retrofit expenses, all while increasing property values, and improving business profits.
The Heritage Energy Program provides state-level collaboration between key partner agencies to improve the environmental sustainability of state-funded historic preservation projects across the State of Colorado.
The Department of Local Affairs, through its Colorado Main Street program formed the Heritage Energy Leadership Partnership (HELP) Team with the Colorado Energy Office and History Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Office to facilitate access to incentives and technical assistance for the preservation and sustainable reinvestment of unique cultural landmarks in rural downtowns.
The HELP Team works with the local Main Street Manager and/or Historic Preservation Commission, municipal staff, project consultants, contractors, local utility providers, and other state agencies on specific projects to help with coordination and on-call technical guidance.
The Heritage Energy Approach to funding focuses on leveraging existing resources while on the outlook for additional grant funding.
The basis for leveraging incentives rest on having the property historically designated (whether locally or at the state or national level) and following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Through good organization and planning, this route promises the best return on property stakeholder investment for historic properties in the state.
Energy incentives are available whether a property is historically designated or not, and can support reinvestment in many Main Street properties.
The Resources and Incentives Guide should be considered for your custom-tailored plan for funding. Reach out to the HELP Team with any questions; see contact information below.
Join Main StreetColorado Main Street provides cities and towns with technical assistance and funding to support vibrant downtowns and enhance local character. Please contact Colorado Main Street to explore the program with you and your community.
Direct inquiries regarding initial program interest to your Regional Manager. Use the other program contacts once the initial process with your Regional Manager is complete.