“The Roaring Fork Valley has more organizations working on climate action and energy per capita than just about anywhere else.” These words, overheard at a green building event last week, show the passion that Roaring Fork Valley residents have for creating a sustainable future. While we can’t vouch for the number, we know that there are more people than we can count who are working together to reduce carbon emissions in the valley.
To wit: three valley non-profits are collaborating to provide communities with the tools to create a greener, more energy-efficient and resilient future.
CORE, CLEER, and Garfield Clean Energy (GCE) have made significant strides in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield Counties. In the upcoming months we are at it again, co-hosting community learning opportunities that focus on energy and economic development.
First on deck: a local power workshop organized by CLEER, and sponsored by CORE, called “Clean Innovative Energy Sources to Power Our Region.” On March 3, decision-makers, governments, organizations, businesses, and engaged citizens will gather to learn about clean energy sources in our region, identify partnership opportunities, and develop strategies to reach clean energy targets that will maximize local economic opportunities. The workshop will feature speakers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Institute, the Colorado Energy Office, and many more. Details and registration for the event, which is open to the public, are available at the GCE website.
Powering our region through local clean energy sources is an ambitious target. In order to stay on track, we must empower the workforce. On March 10, GCE, CLEER, and others are taking the lead, organizing a free half-day training for contractors and project developers interested in learning about C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy). This workshop will provide information and training on how to utilize the new financing tool in which building owners borrow money for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy projects, making repayments via an assessment on their property tax bill. Registration is open now.
Providing the local workforce with additional tools for clean and lean energy is the premise behind the annual Energy Smart Contractor Expo*. The event, co-hosted by CORE, CLEER, and GCE, draws in 100-150 attendees and two-dozen vendors from the Roaring Fork Valley, Eagle Valley, and Grand Junction. Opportunities to network, discuss industry best practices, and learn about new technologies make this one of the Western Slope’s most popular events focused on building retrofits, energy efficiency and the built environment. Registration is open for the Expo, which will be held on April 27 at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.
By Kate Henion
*Interested in becoming a sponsor or vendor for this year’s Energy Smart Contractor Expo? Contact Kate Henion, Energy Programs Assistant with CORE.