Mona Newton Recognizing the TRUE Energy Pioneers and Recipients of The Randy Udall Energy Pioneer Grant
CORE’s Executive Director, Mona Newton, welcomes the 2018 TRUE Energy Pioneers grantees during the annual reception held in the blue twilight of dusk, at the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s River Center, a 2017 grant winner.

We’ve got to do more and we have to do it fast, according to the newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report put together by the world’s best climate scientists. That’s why we’re proud to present the recipients of the Randy Udall Energy (TRUE) Pioneer Grant — innovators, leaders and energy pioneers who are all about direct, bold, action. Each grantee came to us with a big idea on how to improve the planet, and we’re thrilled to help them make it a reality.

These five projects are slated to save $152,727 each year in energy costs and avoid 1,268 metric tons of CO2 from entering our atmosphere each year. Read on to learn more about how our $508,458 donation will create positive change across our community.

Roaring Fork School District

This school district will build affordable housing that’s comfortable and has low utility bills.

With the new Cardiff Mesa housing complex in Glenwood Springs, the Roaring Fork School District is demonstrating its commitment to building high-quality, low-carbon, affordable housing for its teachers and staff. To keep utility bills down, developers are employing a one-two punch of energy efficiency and solar photovoltaic panels (PV). The units greatly exceed the energy features required by building code and the 32-kilowatt solar power system will cut each unit’s energy bill in half.

The first twelve Cardiff Mesa units are built to the highest standards. Source: Roaring Fork School District

Farm Collaborative

This non-profit will reverse climate change.

The Farm Collaborative, formally Aspen TREE, will remove carbon from the atmosphere and return it to the soil using a farming style referred to as “alley cropping.” This beneficial agricultural practice make soils healthier so that they can store more carbon. That’s not all, alley cropping improves farm productivity, which means more food will be grown and consumed locally.

The Farm Collaborative’s alpacas, Kona and Roy, want carbon sequestration too! Source: Farm Collaborative

Town of Snowmass Village

This town will be a leader in clean energy.

Snowmass Village is edging closer and closer to meeting its emissions reduction goal of 80% by 2020. Achieving this won’t be easy and requires addressing its greatest emissions source: electricity. Luckily, Snowmass Village is taking the task seriously. They’re exploring adding solar PV to their rooftops, including on the highly visible Town Hall. The proposed 83-kilowatt solar PV system will offset almost 75% of their electricity.  

Andrew Wickes, Snowmass Village Environmental Board Chair at Town Hall. Source: Travis Elliott

Aspen Electric

This utility will make your electric meter “smarter” to save you money and energy.

Once a month utility staff visit over 3,000 electric meters to manually record how many kilowatts were used at your home. Aspen Electric knows it’s time to enter the digital age. They will use CORE funds to upgrade to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), also known as smart meters. Smart meters save the utility time and money by recording usage information real-time and strengthening the power delivery system. But what’s in it for their customers? It allows them to better manage their electricity use and opens the door for the utility to develop cutting-edge energy-efficiency programs and technology–good news for all you who want solar panels, batteries, smart appliances and electric vehicles.

AMI will open up a new world of energy programs for Aspen. Source: Aspen Chamber Resort Association, Jeremy Swanson. 

Roaring Fork Club

This business will install enough solar to cover the carbon footprint of new employee housing.

The Roaring Fork Club knows its new employee housing project will increase its carbon footprint. They turned to CORE to help make sure the impact will be minimal. First, the Club is making sure the seven housing units meet the highest energy-efficiency standards. Then, they will top off the project with 160 kilowatts of solar PV. We don’t think the solar will stop there. Studies show solar is “contagious,” when one rooftop solar system goes, others follow as the word spreads on how good a deal solar is.

Proposed PV at the Roaring Fork Club will take advantage of all that sunlight. Source: The Roaring Fork Club

What’s your big idea? How can we help you take your environmental vision further?

We’re honored to continue Randy Udall’s legacy through the TRUE Pioneer Grant program. Udall, the first executive director of CORE, was an energy visionary who advocated for clean energy and inspired future energy pioneers. Each year, we donate over $500,000 to projects that embody his philosophy. Find out if your project is the right fit.