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Clean Energy Economy for the Region

June 4, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 5

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Lavelle and Chuck Bottineau
Lavelle and Chuck Bottineau enjoy comfortable living in Battlement Mesa, and their mobile home will be more energy efficient with new light bulbs, a programmable thermostat, new refrigerator and a furnace tune-up.
Photo by Maisa Metcalf

Home energy visits making life better for families

Program helps reduce utility bills for income-qualified households

By Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News

Four months after putting out the call for income-qualified households to sign up for the 2015 Home Energy Program, CLEER’s energy coaches have visited 27 homes, with another seven homes scheduled for the coming weeks.

“They have been a lifesaver for me,” said Phyllis Billmeyer, 61, of Rifle. CLEER’s energy coaches installed a programmable thermostat, applied foam insulation and insulated the hot water heater in her 30-year-old manufactured home.

Norville family

Rob and Victoria Norville, and their daughters Isabella, 5, and Sophia, 2, will enjoy a cooler home this summer after their New Castle townhome was upgraded with more insulation and air sealing.
Photo by Kelley Cox

Rob Norville

Rob Norville shows the new insulation wrapping on his family’s hot water heater, which will help the heater operate on less energy. CLEER energy coaches are wrapping hot water  and making other energy efficiency upgrades through the 2015 Home Energy Program. The program is helping income-qualified households reduce their energy bills.
Photo by Kelley Cox

“They were just so nice,” Billmeyer said of the coaches “They even left me the foam and more light bulbs if I needed them.”

The coaches also spotted the need for new windows, and arranged for Energy Efficiency Solutions, a local contractor, to order the windows and install them in the coming weeks.

In Battlement Mesa, the coaches installed 20 new energy efficient light bulbs for Lavelle and Chuck Bottineau. The new lights over the kitchen stove made the biggest difference, said Lavelle, with their bright, steady light.

The coaches also installed a tiny LED nightlight in the bathroom, wrapped the hot water heater, installed faucet aerators and a programmable thermostat. And they lined up contractors to replace a broken-down back door, tune up the furnace and install a new, energy-efficient refrigerator.

Lavelle, 76, and Chuck, 81, knew the back door of their mobile home needed help. The energy coaches spotted other opportunities, and explained to the couple how home improvements also reduce utility bills and make a home more comfortable.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Lavelle.

For the 2015 Home Energy Program, CLEER Energy Coaches Maisa Metcalf, Matt Shmigelsky and Shelley Kaup are spending one or two days each week visiting homes from Battlement Mesa to Carbondale.

During the 90-minute visit, they install light bulbs and thermostats, insulate hot water heaters and hot water pipes, apply caulk and foam to air leaks, and assess each home for other needed upgrades.

Follow-up improvements for these households have included insulation and air sealing, furnace tune-ups, new doors or windows, new refrigerators and new hot water heaters. Upgrades vary depending on needs of each home and available funding from the energy utilities serving that community.

The visits and upgrades come at no cost to these Garfield County households, thanks to a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, rebates from Xcel Energy, SourceGas and Holy Cross Energy, funding from the Town of Carbondale for town residents, and additional support from Garfield Clean Energy.

The combined funding will cover services for 27 households countywide, and 30 additional homes in Carbondale. CLEER and Garfield Clean Energy are seeking additional funding to continue the program, as the waiting list grows.

Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), a statewide organization that helps low-income families and seniors deal with high utility bills, is a key partner in the Home Energy Program. EOC reviews each household’s income and family size to determine whether they qualify. The agency has also provided some back-up funds for unusual problems, such as one hazardous situation the coaches discovered where a furnace was being vented into the attic, not to the outside.

“We are always looking for health and safety issues in addition to helping households save energy,” said Metcalf, who is managing the 2015 Home Energy Program for CLEER.

“Most of all, we love meeting people, visiting with them in their homes, and figuring out ways to help them save energy,” Metcalf said.

Rob Norville, 34, of New Castle teaches environmental science at Glenwood Springs High School. He and his wife, Victoria, and their two daughters live in a 35-year-old townhouse that has no cooling system and electric baseboards for heat. Their electric bills can reach $170 in the winter months.

For the Norvilles, CLEER’s energy coaches installed light bulbs, faucet aerator, and showerhead, and insulated the water heater and hot water pipes. But it was obvious the home needed insulation, air sealing and a new refrigerator.

“It’s a two-story home, and it can get pretty hot at night in the summer,” said Norville. The insulation and air sealing, installed in May, will keep their home cool in summer and warm in winter. A new refrigerator is expected to arrive later in June.

As a science teacher, Norville said he has always been interested in energy efficiency.

“Some of the little things, like air sealing, I had thought about doing, but didn’t know how to do myself,” he said. Having professionals come in and do a thorough job, at no cost to his family, made a big difference.

“I would recommend it to anyone looking to do some upgrades who might need some help, both technical and financial. CLEER has been really helpful,” said Norville.

For information on the 2015 Home Energy Program, visit
or call CLEER at 704-9200.

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Ride Garfield County

Ride Garfield County rolls out Team Challenge,
plus a week of bike and bus riding activities

Countywide event highlights health, environmental, economic benefits

Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER announce the launch of Ride Garfield County, a countywide Team Challenge and weeklong series of events June 19 to 26.

“Organize your biking teams this week and get signed up to participate in the Team Challenge,” said Karen Wahrmund, organizer of Ride Garfield County.

“And mark your calendar for a week of bike and bus oriented activities, including guided mountain bike rides, a bike rodeo for kids, a family bike scavenger hunt, riding to your Farmer’s Market, Bike to Work Day, bicycle maintenance classes, a cargo bike float in the Strawberry Days Parade, and Bikes to Books at all the libraries,” she added.

Ride Garfield County promotes the health and environmental benefits of walking, riding bicycles and riding the bus. It’s a new event developed through the partnership of Garfield Clean Energy and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA).

“RFTA has been a member of Garfield Clean Energy for many years because we realize that transportation is one of the largest sectors of regional energy usage,” said Jason White, a planner with RFTA and member of the Garfield Clean Energy board of directors.

“Transit, bicycle and walking connections improve public health and quality of life in our communities. They also provide low-cost, clean energy options for people to reduce their environmental footprint on a daily basis,” White said.

NEW > The expanded offering of paved cycling paths and single-track mountain bike trails across the county adds to the area's tourism business, attracting families, young adults and active seniors to the area for bicycling options.

“During Ride Garfield County week and throughout the summer, we are encouraging people to get out of their cars and instead walk, ride their bikes and ride the bus to go to work, shop and have fun,” White said.

For those with a competitive spirit, the Ride Garfield County Team Challenge offers a chance to team up and log their biking miles, keep an eye on other teams, and compete for prizes and bragging rights.

Riders and teams can register on the National Bike Challenge website, which hosts a local challenge section for Ride Garfield County, and start entering miles whenever they ride.

“This is a community event, so we’d love to have people form or join a team,” said Sue Schnitzer, manager of the Glenwood Springs Branch Library and an avid cyclist.

“Anyone who registers can sign up with an existing team or form their own,” she said. “Of course, we are hoping that library visitors and supporters will join the Garfield County Libraries team, to help us demonstrate that libraries are about more than books.”

The top-mileage team will win a prize, and everyone who participates will be entered into a drawing for other prizes. Teams can win by riding a lot of miles, or by building a big team of active riders.

Teams and riders can post photos and comments from their rides on social media using #RideGarCo.

Ride Garfield County is hosted by Garfield Clean Energy, RFTA, the Garfield County Library District and CLEER, and sponsored by Alpine Bank, LiveWell Garfield County, Roaring Fork Family Physicians, Glenwood Springs Ford, Grand River Health, Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization (RAMBO), Ragged Mountain Sports, Aloha Mountain Cyclery, Rad Bikes, Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop, Sweet Coloradough, Defiant Packs, Town of New Castle, City of Rifle, Grand Valley Recreation Center, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and the City of Glenwood Springs.

For links and instructions on how to register for the Team Challenge, and for a schedule of events for the Ride Garfield County week, go online to or pick up a flyer and register at your nearest Garfield County Public Library.

Teams can also register in person during the open house for CLEER and CORE’s new Energy Resource Center, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, at the Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St., in Carbondale.

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Energy Resource Center Open House

CLEER, CORE and Energy Smart Colorado
host open house at new Energy Resource Center

CLEER, CORE and Energy Smart Colorado will host an open house to celebrate their new Energy Resource Center in Carbondale from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 18.

Everyone is invited to visit the new, energy efficient office in Suite 7 at the Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St, a more than 100 percent solar powered building.

Visitors can see the center’s high-efficiency LED lighting and energy displays, talk with vendors demonstrating clean energy products, and meet the energy coaches and staff of CLEER, CORE and Energy Smart Colorado.

“We invite residents and businesses to come to the Energy Resource Center and learn about the best solutions and rebate opportunities for saving money and improving their homes and businesses, ” said Mona Newton, executive director of CORE, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency.

“We are partnering to accelerate clean energy solutions and to better serve the public,” said Alice Laird, executive director of CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region.  “Collaborating to share one space will make it easier for people to know where to go for rebates and assistance. It also increases the impact our organizations can have together.”

“The Energy Resource Center is the local one-stop-shop for home and business owners to get assistance with energy efficiency and renewable work. We have experienced energy and building experts available here to help,” said Marty Treadway, Energy Smart Colorado program manager. Energy Smart Colorado is a statewide efficiency program helping households and businesses become more energy efficient.

“A great team of contractors helped us make the Energy Resource Center an example of resource-efficient design,” said Maisa Metcalf, a CLEER energy coach and manager of the center’s remodel.

The team included Green Line Architects, Rick Lawrence Construction, Aspen Deconstruction, One Source Lighting, All-Phase Electrical Supply, Green-Tech Electrical, Ben Custom Painting, Handcrafted Carpets and Lutron Controls.

Donors to the project to date are Berthod Motors, Jim and Connie Calaway, Russ Criswell, Judy Perry, R.H. Crossland Foundation, Holy Cross Energy, SourceGas, Xcel Energy and an anonymous donor.

The open house is part of the Third Street Center’s 5-Year Birthday Party, to be held throughout the building at the same time.

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CEC opens 1.8 mW Sunny Side solar array

Third community garden in Holy Cross Energy service area sold out prior to opening

Sunny Side array

The Sunny Side array on Missouri Heights, east of Carbondale.
Photo by Clean Energy Collective

The third large community solar garden installed in Holy Cross Energy service area by the Clean Energy Collective opened with a celebration on May 15.

The  Sunnyside Ranch Community Solar Array is a 1.8 megawatt solar electric system built on the Sunny Side Ranch, owned by Rick and Mary James and located on County Road 100 east of Carbondale

Sunsense Solar of Carbondale installed the array, which has 6,107 panels and uses solar tracking technology to increase production by up to 25 percent.

The array was largely sold out in advance of the opening to two major Holy Cross customers, Eagle County government and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

Aspen Times, May 22, 2015
Valley’s largest solar array goes online in Missouri Heights

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Alpine Bank and Holy Cross Energy

Many thanks to Alpine Bank
and Holy Cross Energy for their generous gifts to CLEER. Their support helps make CLEER's work
on increasing energy efficiency possible.

In this issue

Home energy visits making life better for families, seniors

Ride Garfield County rolls out Team Challenge, plus a week of bike and bus riding activities

CLEER and CORE host open house at new Energy Resource Center

Clean Energy Collective opens 1.8 mW Sunny Side solar array near Carbondale

Free trainings on International Energy Conservation Code

FridgeWize blade named top product of the year by Environmental Leader

In the news

Submit your news and events to
Clean Energy Economy News

Clean Energy Economy News accepts news, events and training information related to clean energy and sustainability for monthly publication. Send your items to Editor Heather McGregor at


Free training in International Energy Conservation Code

Rifle, Carbondale and Aspen workshops offered

Free training in real-world applications of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)in residential and commercial settings will be offered June 24 in Rifle, June 25 in Carbondale and June 26 in Aspen.

The one-day workshops are led by Shaunna Mozingo of Colorado Code Consulting, and are aimed at county and municipal code officials, HERS raters, building contractors, designers, and large building owners.

The focus will be on the 2009 IECC, noting differences between that and the 2012 and 2015 updates. Through photos and videos of field applications, the workshop will look at the true intent behind the code requirements.

The workshops are presented by the Colorado Energy Office, Energy Smart Colorado, CORE, CLEER and Garfield Clean Energy.

Those who attend any of the sessions may apply for 0.7 ICC continuing education units and 7 AIA learning units.

Workshop schedule

Rifle, Wednesday, June 24
Rifle City Hall, 202 Railroad Ave.
8 a.m. to noon: Residential
1 to 5 p.m.: Commercial
Lunch provided

Carbondale, Thursday, June 25
Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St.
9 a.m. to noon: Residential
1 to 4 p.m.: Commercial
Coffee, light breakfast and lunch provided

Aspen, Friday June 26
Aspen Firehouse, 420 E. Hopkins Ave.
(Parking at the Rio Grande Parking Garage)
9 a.m. to noon: Residential
1 to 4 p.m.: Commercial
Coffee, light breakfast and lunch provided

To register, contact Shaunna Mozingo, Colorado Code Consulting,

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Fridgewize Q Blade

FridgeWize blade named top product of the year by Environmental Leader

Commercial refrigeration fan blade uses carbon fiber technology

FridgeWize of Glenwood Springs, a leading provider of energy efficient commercial heating and cooling solutions, announced May 14 that their revolutionary Q Blade has received a 2015 Top Product of the Year Award in the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards.

“We had more entries than ever this year, and competition was tough,” said Paul Nastu, publisher of Environmental Leader. “The winners showed innovation and the ability to help transform the fields of energy and sustainability management.”

“Entries that were awarded Top Product or Project of the Year are those that should be carefully considered by companies seeking to improve operations and boost the bottom line.”

The Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits.

The FridgeWize Q Blade, a carbon fiber evaporator motor fan blade engineered to significantly reduce energy consumption, was considered by the Environmental Leader Product & Project judges panel as an exemplary product worthy of receiving this year’s top honor.

FridgeWize blades are dramatic improvement compared to aluminum and plastic blades commonly used in refrigeration systems. They reduce stress on any electronically commutated (EC) motor, resulting in lower amp draw and reduced compressor duty cycles.

“The savings for the investment required to do a fan blade retrofit is phenomenal. I will be taking this data to my company and trial these blades myself in hopes of getting similar savings,” said one awards judge.

Scores were determined by a panel of independent judges headed by Paul Leavoy of LNS Research, with judges from AECOM Technology Corp., Anheuser Busch InBev, Bayer MaterialScience, ConAgra Foods, ConEd Solutions, Environmental & Operational Risk Management, GlaxoSmithKline, Owens Corning, RegScan, Salazar Packaging, Trupoint Advisors, the University of California Berkeley, Verdantix, Williams Creek Consulting and YES Bank.

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Denver Post, April 26, 2015

9 metro Denver solar gardens rooted, another 10 start to sprout

A solar garden building boom is sweeping the Denver area, with nine gardens already built and 10 more under development.

"There is a growing demand for solar, and solar gardens is a concept that is taking off across the country," said Adam Browning, executive director of VoteSolar, a solar energy advocacy group.


Denver Business Journal, May 15, 2015

Colorado will comply with EPA’s plan to cut CO2 emissions, Hickenlooper says

Colorado will move ahead with crafting a plan to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from its power plants across the state, Gov. John Hickenlooper told U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter obtained by the Denver Business Journal.

McConnell, R-Kentucky, in March wrote a letter to the governors of all 50 states outlining the legal reasons they should not comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules that aim to cut the nation’s CO2 emissions. The letter is part of a concerted effort to quash the EPA’s rules.


Yale climate opinion map

Yale posts interactive
climate opinion maps of U.S.

As part of their ongoing Climate Change in the American Mind project, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication have observed that public opinion about climate change varies widely depending on where people live.

So Yale researchers developed a geographic and statistical model to downscale national public opinion results to the county, congressional district, and state levels. Opinions on a series of questions are displayed in a set of online maps.

Visit the site here.