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Green building in the Roaring Fork Valley got a six-figure boost last month when CORE awarded $626,684 in grants to two dozen local organizations pursuing commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
“We’re proud to honor these innovative projects that are supporting clean air, smart energy and a stable climate,” said Mona Newton, executive director of CORE. “By using less energy, we can have the biggest impact on lowering carbon emissions and building a safer, healthier community.”
The 2016 Randy Udall Energy Pioneer Grants — the organization’s largest grant category — will facilitate work such as solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays that offset 100% of buildings’ energy consumption, energy-efficiency retrofits in employee housing, natural daylighting in classrooms, solar charging stations for a bike share program, and much more.
CORE’s grants are made possible by REMP, the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program that the organization pioneered with the City of Aspen and Pitkin County to mitigate excessive energy usage with grants and other smart energy initiatives.
“Think snowmelt payments for solar funding,” said Newton.
By supporting more sustainable building practices, CORE’s grant program helps save energy, protect the climate and strengthen the economy. To date, CORE has granted over $8.2 million through REMP funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the Roaring Fork Valley. This year alone, CORE’s investment in the local economy is anticipated to offset 4.39 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
CORE’s Class of 2016 grantees include 24 local businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and institutions:*
• Aspen: Aspen Historical Society, Aspen School District, Aspen Skiing Company, City of Aspen, Pitkin County, WE-Cycle
• Basalt: Full Circle Construction Services, Rock Bottom Ranch
• Carbondale: Children’s Rocky Mountain School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Energetics Education, Third Street Center,
• Glenwood Springs: Habitat for Humanity, Two Rivers Community School
• Pitkin County: Pitkin County Landfill
• Snowmass Village: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Town of Snowmass Village
To learn more about the CORE grants program, and how you can apply for a grant, visit the CORE Grants webpage.
*Some organizations received more than one grant, distributed within different departments within the organization.
Considering a new car? There’s never been a better time to get into an electric vehicle (EV). With up to $12,500 in State and Federal tax credits available next year, Colorado will soon have the best subsidies in the country. Advances like longer driving ranges, a boost in the number of models available at local dealers, and nearly 200 charging plugs on the Western Slope (including five RFTA chargers made possible by CORE grants) mean owning and operating EVs are easier than ever for Roaring Fork Valley drivers.
The benefits of driving an electric vehicle include zero tailpipe emissions, low maintenance, quiet ride, and ease of operation, to name a few.
After flipping through the Consumer Federation of America’s EV “Car Book,” the bible of all things EV in a snappy 16 pages, check out the new tax subsidies that the State of Colorado and the Feds will be offering for EV purchases starting on January 1, 2017:
2017 EV Tax Credit Snapshot
|Amount||Type||Good to Know|
|State of Colorado||Flat $5000||“Cash on the Hood” or tax credit||Eliminates the MSRP calculation from 2016|
|Federal Government||Up to $7500||Tax credit||Consult your tax accountant about offsetting capabilities|
For more on Colorado’s EV Tax Credit calculations and other incentives, visit Refuel Colorado, the State’s clearinghouse on alternative fuel vehicles.
Adding to the bounty, a growing group of local entities that includes CORE, CLEER, Garfield Clean Energy, and the City of Aspen are collaborating with Refuel Colorado to explore an EV bulk purchase like Boulder’s, which could provide additional dealer discounts to interested buyers. The local transportation group is in its early stages, checking the feasibility of financial incentives such as this, as well as educational and infrastructure support like “Ride & Drive” events and creating a seamless network of high-capacity chargers.
Stay tuned for details and check out what’s coming down the road with the local auto dealers who are offering (or plan to offer) these eight EV models in our area:
|Audi||A3 PHEV||Glenwood Springs|
|Chevrolet||Volt PHEV and Bolt BEV||Glenwood Springs|
|Chrysler||Pacifica PHEV||Glenwood Springs|
|Ford||CMax Energi PHEV, Fusion Energi PHEV and Focus Electric BEV||Glenwood Springs|
|Nissan||Leaf BEV||Grand Junction|
|Tesla||Model S BEV and Model X BEV||Aspen & Vail|
Lingo lowdown, adapted from Refuel Colorado:
BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle, propelled by electricity that is stored in a battery and used by an electric motor. With BEVs, the charging station — including plugging in at home — is the new gas station.
PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, which utilizes both electricity and gasoline to power the vehicle. They operate on electricity for a limited range before switching to a gasoline engine or motor for extended range.
Matt Shmigelsky of CLEER and Sarah Gruen of CORE contributed to this story. This post was updated on January 23, 2017.
With autumn’s cool-down, our resource efficiency promotions are heating up. Check out the latest offers for October and November — all of which demonstrate that the most efficient energy kilowatt or btu is the one you don’t use:
Aspen Energy Challenge: Local renters and homeowners can save up to $2,000 – not to mention hundreds on annual utility costs – with cash rebates for insulation and air sealing projects in October. Visit the AEC website for details on how you can get the most comfort out of each dollar you spend on heating your home.
Waste Free Roaring Fork is giving away twelve $25 gift certificates to local coffee shops during the month of November to those who grab a reusable mug instead of a disposable cup. Enter to win by posting a “mug shot” of you and/or your mug at your favorite cafe to WFRF’s Facebook page. Coffee shops participating in the Mug Shot Contest include: Bonfire Coffee, Dos Gringos, Franck Thirion French Pastry, ink! Coffee, Mawa’s Kitchen, Paradise Bakery & Cafe, Peach’s Corner Cafe, Roxy’s Market, Spring Cafe and Starbucks (Aspen and Basalt locations).
The Town of Carbondale is offering 50% off smart thermostats, plus a package deal that includes professional installation and a heating tune-up. Town residents may choose between Nest Learning Thermostat, Ecobee and Honeywell Lyric, valued up to $250 each. Call 970-925-9775 ext. 503 to sign up.
Thanks to a generous donor, the Town of Snowmass Village is providing free home energy assessments (a $400 value) to Town residents. This offer, which includes a comprehensive evaluation of your home’s energy use, safety testing, “quick fix” measures, and much more, is valid through the end of the year. Call 970-925-9775 ext. 501 to sign up.
Home is where the #EnergyEfficiency is, as told by insulation and air sealing champ Rebecca Driscoll: “We were running electric heaters in the bedroom all the time and I was still freezing. Now you walk into our bedroom and you can’t tell it’s over a garage. It’s just snug as a bug in a rug.”
To find out how you, too, can save energy and gain comfort through rebates and incentives, please visit Energy Smart Colorado at CORE.
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