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CLEER (CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY FOR THE REGION)
October, 2023

Here are our top tips for saving energy – and money – this winter

If your home is drafty or expensive to heat, now is an ideal time to make improvements that will quickly pay for themselves in saved energy costs. We recommend starting with a home energy audit, and you can get a discounted (or even free) audit this month through our Get Your Home Ready for Winter campaign.

In addition, here are our top recommendations for home energy efficiency upgrades. Read more...

Carbondale’s Home Energy Score pilot program proves popular

A new pilot program in Carbondale is offering residents a free home energy checkup, while testing a new tool for the town to achieve its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goals. It could also offer a model for other Garfield County communities to help reduce residential energy use.

The Home Energy Score is designed to give a snapshot of a home’s current energy use, along with a list of recommendations. Seeing how their home compares to the average – ranked on a 1-to-10 scale, with graphics similar to the EnergyGuide labels seen on appliances – gives homeowners encouragement, and maybe a bit of peer pressure, to make energy upgrades. Read more...

Here’s your chance to weigh in on EVs

How likely are you to purchase or lease an electric vehicle? What sorts of barriers stand in the way of doing that?

We want to hear from you – please take our Garfield County community EV-readiness survey! It only takes a few minutes, and your responses will help us better understand what our community wants and needs as we prepare for the long-term transition to electric vehicles.

 

State e-bike rebates now available

Colorado’s Community Access to Electric Bicycles rebate program officially launched in August, and it’s proving to be extremely popular. And no wonder: those who meet the income qualifications can get a voucher worth $1,100 off the cost of a new e-bike.

To manage the demand, the program is taking applications only one week per month. The October application window closed yesterday, so the next window will probably open around Nov. 8. Local bike shops accepting the rebate vouchers include Bear Trail Bikes in Rifle, Colorado Ebikes of Glenwood Springs and Basalt Bike & Ski in Carbondale.

 

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Energy coaching saves Rifle $11k a year

Local governments have enough on their plates without having to keep up with every nuance in utility billing charges. Fortunately for Garfield Clean Energy’s member governments, commercial energy coach Heidi McCullough has their back.

Lately she’s been checking their Xcel Energy electric accounts to see if they could benefit from switching to a different billing category. Sure enough, several have been able to lower their bills significantly by making the switch, but none more so than Rifle – it’s now saving a tidy $11,000 a year. When it comes to energy, knowledge is power!

Update: Holy Cross rescinds rate change

When Holy Cross Energy announced in March that it was planning a major rate restructuring, one aspect of the proposal sent shock waves throughout the Colorado solar installer community. While Holy Cross has long been seen as a very solar-friendly utility, there were concerns that its revised net metering policy – the way customers with rooftop solar are reimbursed for their solar electricity production – would make the economics of solar less favorable.

Facing industry opposition, Holy Cross put the change on hold and then, last month, formally rescinded it. A press release stated that the cooperative’s board made the decision to do so “in favor of continuing to participate in the dialogue led by the Colorado Energy Office on the future of net metering policy in Colorado.”

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