Michael Gartman

Senior Associate
  • Buildings

Michael supports RMI’s Portfolio Energy Optimization and Residential Energy+ initiatives, and is currently focused on providing both project developers and policymakers with the information and resources they need to drive a market shift toward a more efficient, affordable, and secure housing stock.


Michael utilizes a background in cost estimating and project management that comes from a diverse array of experience in the construction industry. His past work has included cost-estimating commercial solar installations, advising the County of San Diego’s 2013–2015 Sustainable Energy Plan, drafting legislation for solar-friendly permitting and installation standards, and constructing steel cable pedestrian bridges in South America.


M.Sc., Building Systems Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
B.Sc., magna cum laude, Construction Management, University of Colorado Boulder


Boulder, CO

Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

Cities Hold the Keys to Greener, More Efficient Homes

Our homes may be a source of safety, comfort, and stability—but they also represent a considerable slice of our country’s carbon emissions (19 percent, according to the latest estimate from the US Energy Information Administration). Addressing this piece of our energy system is essential to achieving our climate goals. Perhaps…

Outlet Blog Post

Zero-Energy Homes: Tunneling Through the (Electrification) Cost Barrier in Cold Climates

A decade ago, the prevailing wisdom held that all-electric buildings presented many challenges: they were served by dirty coal instead of cleaner natural gas, they struggled to meet temperature setpoints in cold climates, and they drastically increased utility bills. Why then this big push toward electrification? Simply put, electrification is…

Outlet Blog Post

How to Cost-Effectively Withstand the Next Polar Vortex

The 2019 polar vortex has passed, leaving behind many harrowing stories in its wake. The new Cold Climates Addendum of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Economics of Zero Energy Homes report illuminates how our homes can be better prepared for weather extremes cost-effectively, even in some of the coldest climates in…

Outlet Blog Post

Zero-Energy Homes Are Ready for Mainstream Markets

Zero-energy (ZE) homes—efficient homes that produce or procure as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year—are often marketed as luxury homes, only available to the select few that are willing to pay a significant premium to do the right thing for the environment. In keeping…


The Economics of Zero-Energy Homes

NEW: Cold Climates Addendum offers additional guidance for ZE and ZER homes built in climate zones 6 and 7. This report demonstrates that the cost increase to build a zero-energy or zero-energy ready home is modest—far less than consumers, builders, and policymakers realize—and highlights methods builders and policymakers can use…

Outlet Blog Post

Teaching Buildings to Swim in a Sea of Data

We have long used data to improve our buildings’ performance, and to inform building planning and operations. Building automation systems have replaced the manual operation of most large commercial buildings, and energy models utilizing data from existing buildings have been instrumental in informing energy codes and retrofit practices. Nevertheless, there’s…