Image courtesy of Align Multimedia

October 2021

Regional study proposes action plan to accelerate solar and boost economy

A major new study finds huge potential to expand solar energy in the region, and proposes a detailed action plan to do so.

According to the study, community-scale solar in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties could grow by more than 25-fold and meet nearly a quarter of the counties’ electricity use – a significant step toward achieving their clean energy targets.

The report makes the case that it’s in the region’s economic interest to develop as much solar as possible locally – rather than relying on electricity imported from large-scale projects in geographically remote areas – and explains how combining solar with battery storage will deliver essential grid benefits in the form of flexibility and resilience. Read more...

Sola Bella: An affordable net-zero home in Rifle

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “net-zero home”? Maybe a lavish, cutting-edge mansion in the Roaring Fork Valley, with expensive everything and a Tesla in the garage?

Well, put that stereotype aside, because it’s out of date. Consider instead Sola Bella, a modest two-bedroom house in a tract subdivision in Rifle. Read more...

Commercial Xcel customers: you may qualify for big savings

Do you own or manage a business that gets its electricity from Xcel? Do your monthly bills seem awfully high? If so, you may be eligible for big savings under a new rate structure that went into effect Sept. 10. Check your bill – it could be worth thousands of dollars a year. Read more...

Solarize Garfield County sends PV installs through the roof

Our Solarize Garfield County campaign generated $2.8 million in rooftop solar and battery investment, added nearly a megawatt of renewable energy to the grid and helped county residents bank $270,000 in rebates. The program, which GCE spearheaded, exceeded all expectations. Read more...

Fall is prime time for making your home more energy-efficient

Ah fall, when a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of winter heating bills. But with a few tweaks and upgrades – aided by some helpful local energy-efficiency programs and rebates – you should be able to reduce those bills and make your home cozier in the process.

And if you happen to be a Glenwood Springs Electric customer, you owe it to yourself to look into the killer rebates the utility is now offering on high-efficiency heat pumps. But as the year winds down, bear in mind that some rebate pools are running low, and utility programs might well change in 2022. Read more...

Garfield County strikes SolSmart gold

Garfield County has received a Gold designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. The SolSmart Gold designation recognizes the county for making common-sense regulatory reforms, such as making accessory solar systems a use by right in all major zones, offering online solar permitting and providing local incentives for solar systems. Read more...

Garfield County Community Development Director Sheryl Bower presents the SolSmart Gold Award to county commissioners, from left, Tom Jankovsky, John Martin and Mike Samson. Photo by Renelle Lott.

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