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Clean Energy Economy for the Region

February 28, 2017, Vol. 10, No. 2

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Clean Innivative Energy Solutions

‘Clean, Innovative Energy Sources’
explored at March 3 workshop

Experts present options for developing methane,
biomass, micro-hydro, geothermal and solar resources

A one-day workshop to explore innovative clean energy resources in the region and identify action steps for new power production is set for Friday, March 3, in Glenwood Springs.

“Clean Innovative Energy Sources To Power Our Region: Creating Pathways
for Reaching Energy Targets and Economic Resilience” will feature presentations from experts on methane capture, biomass, micro-hydro, geothermal and solar energy resources.

Speakers include experts from the Colorado Energy Office, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TRC Companies, Ruby Canyon Engineering, Vessels Coal Gas, Holy Cross Energy, City of Grand Junction, Colorado Small Hydro Association, Colorado Division of Water Resources, Rocky Mountain Institute, Sunsense Solar, Renewable Energy Systems and other energy experts.

Many local governments and organizations in the Parachute to Aspen region have adopted clean energy targets. This workshop is a way for local decision makers, citizens, business leaders and government staff to learn more about the variety of clean energy options available in our region. It’s also intended to identify top opportunities for new clean energy production and next steps for maximizing those opportunities.

The workshop is set for 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3, at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road. Registration is $25, and includes morning refreshments, lunch and workshop materials. Scholarships are available.

Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and CORE are presenting the workshop. Sponsors are Alpine Bank, the Colorado Energy Office, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Carbondale Area Chamber of Commerce, Hotel Colorado and Colorado Mountain College.

Everyone is welcome to attend the workshop to learn more about the wealth of clean energy options that can be tapped in our region, and to help shape our region’s energy and economic future.

For information and to register, visit or call (970) 704-9200.

workshop sponsors

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Electric Vehicle Sales Event

Electric Vehicle Sales EVent to roll out
with March 15 press conference

Discounts on plug-in EVs to run April 1 to June 30

Multiple auto dealers have enthusiastically responded to be part of a three-county program to offer discounted pricing on plug-in electric vehicles for a 90-day period.

CLEER and its partners will announce the complete list of qualifying auto dealers and the vehicles to be offered at a press conference on March 15 at Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs.

“Electric Vehicle Sales Event: REV Up Your Ride” will run from April 1 to June 30, and will be promoted in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties.

Buyers can take advantage of deals on plug-in hybrid vehicles, which can also run for longer distances on a gasoline engine, and battery electric vehicles, which operate solely on electricity. Buyers will also be able to tap into state and federal tax credits, whether they purchase or lease the new EVs.

Garfield Clean Energy is working on the project with Refuel Colorado Fleets, a statewide program that promotes alternative transportation fuels such as electricity and compressed natural gas. CLEER staffers Heather McGregor and Matt Shmigelsky are coordinating the effort.

CORE is also funding the effort, along with City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village, City of Glenwood Springs, Eagle County, Town of Vail, Town of Avon and Holy Cross Energy, and in-kind support from Garfield County Public Health and Walking Mountains Science Center.

Electric vehicles generate about 40 percent less carbon emissions than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. They are also less costly to operate, with reduced maintenance needs and fuel that costs the equivalent of about $1.10 per gallon.

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Legislator attacks alternative fuel vehicle tax credits

Senate bill would instead direct funds to highway projects

A Front Range legislator wants to ditch the state tax credits that help lower costs for alternative fuel cars and trucks, including electric, propane and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

State Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, would instead direct the estimated $7.6 million per year that would have been awarded in tax credits to fund the state’s budget for highways.

Marble introduced Senate Bill 188 on Feb. 14, and it’s set for a hearing today in the state Senate Finance Committee.

Marble’s bill would end the alternative fuel vehicle tax credits at the end of 2017. They are currently scheduled to taper off in the coming years and end in 2021. For 2017, tax credits are capped at $5,000 for passenger cars and up to $20,000 for heavy-duty transport trucks.

State tax credits for alternative fuel cars and trucks were first put in place in 2014 to promote more use of domestic fuels for transportation. A 2016 bill, sponsored by state Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, simplified the tax credit calculations and expanded the program to include heavy-duty trucks.

Rankin’s bill received broad bipartisan support, passing 35-0 in the Senate and 64-1 in the House. At the time, Marble and her six Senate co-sponsors, including state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, voted in favor of Rankin’s bill.

The aim was to give private sector buyers -- families and businesses -- a tax credit to offset the typically higher sticker price for an electric, propane or CNG vehicle. Since all three alternative fuels are produced in Colorado, getting more of these vehicles on the road will drive up demand for these domestic fuels.

Vehicle purchase incentives are being offered by the state in concert with grant programs to fund more public electric vehicle, propane and CNG fueling stations statewide. For CNG stations in particular, high sales volume is critical to financial success.

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Eagle County adopts Climate Action Plan

Target set at 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050

Eagle County Climate Action Plan

Using their beloved pond hockey as a metaphor for climate change, the Eagle County commissioners announced in January the adoption of a countywide climate action plan. It calls for an 80 percent reduction in heat-trapping carbon emissions by 2050.

The climate plan drew on an emissions inventory conducted for the county in 2016 by CLEER, which sized up the current rate of carbon emissions and spending on energy. The climate plan itself is the result of a joint effort among leaders in 30 key community organizations, including Walking Mountains Science Center.

In a column announcing the plan, the commissioners said local experts will start work this year to meet the target, with efforts focused on improved energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings, more public transit, making communities more walkable and bikeable, installing more electric vehicle charging stations, diverting more waste from the county landfill, and increasing renewable energy sources.

Commissioners Jeanne McQueeney, Kathy Chandler-Henry and Jill Ryan are also seeking buy-in from the county’s towns and special districts. So far, the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District and the towns of Avon and Vail have adopted the plan.

Access the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community,
on the Walking Mountains Science Center website.

Read the Eagle County commissioners’ column, “Save Our Pond Hockey,”in the Vail Daily.

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2017 Energy Smart Contractor Expo

Save the date: 2017 Energy Smart Contractor Expo

Third annual event, April 27, features vendor booths,
energy efficiency workshops

2016 Energy Smart Contractor Expo

Energy consultants Shelley Kaup with CLEER, above, and Charlie Eckart with CORE, below, discuss efficiency technologies with 2016 Expo participants.

2016 Energy Smart Contractor Expo

Join CLEER, Garfield Clean Energy, CORE and Energy Smart Colorado for the third annual Energy Smart Contractor Expo. Learn about the latest trends in energy efficiency products, techniques and best practices.

8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 27
The Hotel Colorado,
526 Pine St., Glenwood Springs

Registration: $20, includes morning refreshments and lunch
Register today for the 2017 Energy Smart Contractor Expo


• Energy Efficient Rooftop Units, presented by Fridgewize
• Grid-Connected Solar plus Storage, presented by Sunsense Solar
• Latest on Lighting Technologies, presented by All-Phase Electric
• Commercial and Residential Energy Code Compliance
• Challenges and Best Practices for Builders, presented by Habitat for Humanity

Hosted by

CLEER, Garfield Clean Energy, CORE, Energy Smart Colorado

Sponsored by

Expo sponsors


Climate Control Co.
Indow Window
Shamrock Sales
Stanton Engineering
Super Traxx Roaring Fork

There’s still time for energy businesses to sign on as a sponsor
(publicity boost and vendor booth included) or reserve a spot as a vendor.

For information, contact CLEER at (970) 704-9200 or

Holy Cross Energy

Many thanks to Holy Cross Energy
and CLEER contributors. Your support makes this work possible.

In this issue

‘Clean, Innovative Energy Sources’ explored at March 3 workshop

Electric Vehicle Sales EVent to roll out with March 15 press conference

Legislator attacks state’s alternative fuels tax credit

Eagle County adopts Climate Action Plan


C-PACE training for contractors
March 9 & 10

Save the date: 2017 Energy Smart Contractor Expo April 27

Free weekly webinars offered on energy efficiency


U.S. scientists officially declare 2016
the hottest year on record.

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



C-PACE training for contractors March 9 & 10   

New financing mechanism available for energy, water efficiency projects on commercial properties

Two free half-day training workshops for contractors to learn about the new C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing mechanism are set for March 9 in Paonia and March 10 in Glenwood Springs.

This half-day workshop (along with an application) is required for contractors to become registered with C-PACE and to develop C-PACE financed projects. Contractors can attend either one.

The workshops are hosted by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), Colorado C-PACE, Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER, Solar Energy International and Delta County Economic Development.

For both workshops, registration, networking and refreshments start at 8:30 a.m., and the training workshops run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Thursday, March 9
8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Solar Energy International
138 Grand Ave., Paonia
Register for the Paonia workshop here

Friday, March 10
8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Colorado Mountain College
1402 Blake Ave., Room 301,
Glenwood Springs
Register for the Glenwood Springs workshop here

C-PACE financing allows owners of commercial property, including multi-family housing, to make energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their property. Financing for the projects comes from participating lenders, and the loan is repaid through an annual assessment on the owner’s county property tax bill.

The repayment can be extended over a 20-year period, and the energy and water cost savings are typically more than the annual assessment, generating immediate cash flow. Technical and financial projects for each project must be confirmed by an independent third party.

At both workshops, C-PACE experts will help contractors identify eligible projects, and prepare a proposal for an optimized project that includes C-PACE financing benefits.

“Join us on March 9 or 10 to put C-PACE financing in your tool bag, and start developing projects as a registered C-PACE contractor,” said Tracy Phillips, director of the C-PACE program.

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Free weekly webinars
offered on energy efficiency

Colorado series aimed at
building and mechanical contractors, code officials

A robust series of free, weekly, one-hour webinars focused on energy efficiency in residential and commercial structures has been extended and will now run through Sept. 6.

The Wednesday Webinar Series is offered every Wednesday, from 12 to 1 p.m., with a different topic offered each week. Topics for the next few weeks include:

March 1: Whole House Mechanical Ventilation Strategies
(no webinar March 8)
March 15: Energy Use in Commercial Buildings
March 22: Blower Door and Duct Testing
March 29: Energy Code - The Top 10 Approach to Efficiency

The webinars are hosted by Colorado Code Consulting, the Colorado Energy Office and Xcel Energy. All webinars are eligible for .1 ICC CEU and 1 AIA learning unit.

Download the full schedule here.

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Los Angeles Times
Feb. 28, 2017

California Senate leader puts
100% renewable energy on the table in new legislation

It wasn’t just talk — Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is proposing legislation that would require California to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources.

If de León’s SB 584 is approved, 100% of the state’s electricity would need to come from clean sources such as solar and wind by 2045.

The measure would also accelerate the state’s goal of reaching 50 percent renewable energy. Legislation approved two years ago set a deadline of 2030 for the 50 percent level, but the new proposal would move that milestone up to 2025.

Glocal temperatures in 2016

Washington Post
Jan. 18, 2017

U.S. scientists officially declare 2016
the hottest year on record.
That makes three in a row.

In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading U.S. science agencies jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 — which itself had topped a record set in 2014.

Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015 and featured eight successive months (January through August) that were individually the warmest since the agency’s records began in 1880.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, which use different data-gathering platforms, reach the same conclusion about the hottest year yet.