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Climate Action Home Page

Climate Action Home Page

Let's show the world how it's done

The Boulder Climate Action Plan (CAP) is an integrated, aggressive set of programs and strategies to reduce Boulder's greenhouse has emissions and address the growing impact of human activity on global climate change. In 2002, the Boulder City Council passed Resolution 906 , committing the community to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to the target established by the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement adopted in 1997 to combat global climate change. The CAP, which is voter approved and funded, works to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions in Boulder. In November 2006, Boulder voters passed the Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax, the nation's first tax exclusively designated for climate change mitigation. In November 2012, voters approved renewal of the carbon tax to support continuing climate action.

Now is the time. Let's show the world how a community can come together and drastically reduce its energy use.

We live and work in an awesome city. We are blessed with natural beauty, natural resources, and a natural tendency for our residents and business owners to do the right thing with our environment. From reducing energy use and transportation costs, to exploring new means of supplying energy and reducing waste, all of us can make an energy difference.

Everyone in Boulder – residents, workers, students, business owners, visitors and policymakers – has a role to play in achieving the goal and helping combat global climate change. By changing how we think, build, use energy, travel, live, work and grow, all of us can do our part to help.

Choose to Start and Do Your Part

Achieving Boulder's Climate Action Plan goals requires everyone in the community to take action in order to change the way we use energy. The Community Guide to Boulder's Climate Action Plan serves as a roadmap for making these changes (see link under Learn More). The guide outlines reduction strategies for the factors that affect community greenhouse gas emissions: home and business energy use, transportation, solid waste, urban forestry and city operations. The City of Boulder has programs in six strategy areas to help the community reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most of them are funded by CAP tax or trash tax dollars.

Climate Action Plan Tax

City residents and businesses are taxed based on the amount of electricity they consume. The City Council has the authority to set the rate for each user type within an approved range. Since July 2009, the rates have been set at the maximum allowable level. The CAP tax generated approximately $1.8 million in 2010. The CAP tax was renewed by voters on November 6, 2012.

Xcel Energy collects the tax for the city through its monthly customer utility billing. Customers who subscribe to wind-generated power through Xcel Energy's Windsource program are not taxed for that portion of their electricity use.

Current CAP Tax Rates

    Electricity User Type    

      Tax Rate      

    Average Annual Tax    


$0.0049 /kWh



$0.0009 /kWh



$0.0003 /kWh




For questions about CAP programs or the CAP tax, please contact Kendra Tupper at 

For billing questions, please contact Xcel Energy at (800) 895-4999.

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