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Home | Steps to Compliance | Inspection Information | SmartRegs Renter Information | Program Progress

SmartRegs requires all licensed rental housing to meet a basic energy efficiency standard by Dec. 31, 2018.

Adopted by City Council in 2010, the SmartRegs ordinances update the City of Boulder Housing Code, Rental Licensing Code, and provides new baseline energy efficiency requirements for existing rental housing in Boulder. Improving energy efficiency in existing rental housing enhances tenant comfort and supports the community's energy goals and climate commitment.

If you have a licensed rental property that is currently non-compliant with the SmartRegs requirements (no baseline inspection or an inspection that is under 100 points and/or missing 2 water conservation points), contact EnergySmart at 303-544-1001 to assist with the pathway to reach compliance by the deadline.  

Beginning January 2, 2019, all non-compliant SmartRegs rental properties' licenses will be expired and the units are no longer eligible to rent.  All properties identified to be rented or advertised to rent without a valid license will be issued penalties according to the fine and fee schedule in B.R.C 10-3-16 

Civil Penalty for renting without a license:

  • 1 st violation - $150 - $500
  • 2 nd violation - $300 - $750
  • 3 rd violation - $1,000

Investigation fees from enforcement staff:

  • Each investigation - $250
  • Continued non-compliance may result in a court summons, which carries a $250 bond per violation.

Questions regarding SmartRegs compliance contact EnergySmart at 303-544-1001. Please note: EnergySmart advising and financial rebates may only be available through 2018. 

Frequently Asked Questions on SmartRegs Fees 

What is the SmartRegs Service Fee?

  • SmartRegs program costs, including staff and advising services. Program costs have been supported through CAP Tax since adoption in 2010 through 2016.  Fees are used to cover operating costs and are reviewed annually.
  • In 2017, a first-time services fee of $50 was applied to rental licenses that were not compliant with SmartRegs requirements.
  • In 2018, a SmartRegs fee of $100, in addition to the 2017 SmartRegs fee, is applied to rental licenses that are not compliant with the SmartRegs requirements.
What does the fee pay for?
  • City costs to administer the SmartRegs program, covers associated employees for 2018 and contracted services which include EnergySmart advising services to assist with compliance.
  • 60 percent of the program costs are covered by the new fee.
  • 40 percent of the program costs are covered by the city's General Fund. 
Who will pay the SmartRegs Service Fee and when?
  • The $50 fee applies to any rental housing license that did not pass a SmartRegs inspection by April 1, 2017.
  • The $100 fee applies to any rental housing license that did not pass a SmartRegs inspection by Dec. 31, 2017. 
  • These fees do not apply to Short Term rental licenses.
  • The fees are due at the time of license issuance, including issuing an updated license to a full four-year term.
What if I only do Short-Term Rentals?
  • The SmartRegs Ordinance does not apply to a short-term rental license, which requires a property to be the owner’s principle residence.
What help is there to become compliant?
  • Get started at  Steps to Compliance
  • EnergySmart  provides advising for property owners with a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for energy efficiency solutions including:
    • A free, dedicated energy advisor to assist with determining where individual properties stand in relation to SmartRegs compliance, and to recommend the best method of compliance for each individual rental property; and
    • Direct installation of free energy efficiency measures, help scheduling contractors for any efficiency improvements that need to be made, and assistance in identifying and applying for eligible rebates and incentives.
What happens if I don't become compliant?
  • All rental licenses for properties which are non-compliant will expire on 12/31/2018.
  • Properties continuing to rent without a license after expiration will be subject to enforcement including:
    • Civil Penalty for renting without a license:
      • 1 st violation - $150 - $500
      • 2 nd violation - $300 - $750
      • 3 rd violation - $1,000
    • Investigation fees from enforcement staff:
      • Each investigation - $250

Continued non-compliance may result in a court summons, which carries a $250 bond per violation.

How can I give feedback?
  • The first reading of the 2018 budget, including fee changes, occurred at the Oct. 3 City Council meeting.  This meeting  included a public hearing where community members can provide feedback on the budget and fee changes. The second reading and another public hearing on the 2018 recommended budget occurred on Oct. 17.
  • You can contact us by phone or email at: 303-441-4038  [email protected]

SmartRegs History

This multi-departmental effort started in summer 2009 with the goal of enhancing tenant comfort in Boulder's licensed rental properties. From its inception, the project included both community and technical-based working groups to represent key stakeholders as well as help formulate proposals. The SmartRegs, or Smart Regulation, project went through various layers of public outreach and integration including public meetings, online surveys, social media channels and an official public process. SmartRegs was adopted by Boulder City Council on Sept. 21, 2010.The Community Planning and Sustainability and Public Works departments examined code changes needed to update the technical provisions of the Housing Code and Rental Housing Inspection and Licensing Program. Potential code requirements that would further community sustainability objectives, especially energy efficiency. Adjustments to the rental licensing provisions of the code may be warranted to further streamline and clarify its administration, including evaluating the program’s cost recovery and fees.At a Nov. 18, 2008 City Council Study Session on the Climate Action Plan (CAP), council identified strategies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet Boulder's climate objectives. One of the primary strategies for reaching this goal is reducing energy use in buildings. From 2007 through the first quarter of 2009, several energy efficiency measures were implemented that exceeded 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) minimum standards for residential and commercial buildings in new construction, remodels and additions (learn more about the Green Building Program).Addressing energy efficiency in existing rental housing and existing commercial buildings continues to be an area of focus for the city. The Boulder Building Performance Ordinance, adopted Oct. 20, 2015, is currently advancing rating and reporting and energy efficiency requirements for commercial, industrial and city-owned buildings in Boulder.


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