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Clean Energy Economy for the Region

April 5, 2017, Vol. 10, No. 3

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Energy Smart Contractor Expo

2017 Energy Smart Contractor Expo

Third annual event features vendor booths,
energy efficiency workshops

Join CLEER, Garfield Clean Energy, CORE and Energy Smart Colorado for the annual Energy Smart Contractor Expo. Visit vendor booths and attend workshops to 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

Keynote speaker: Tom Plant
Senior Policy Advisor for the Center for a New Energy Economy
Former Director, Governor’s Energy Office

Much of the increase in job opportunities for clean energy professionals and contractors is rooted in supportive local, regional and state policies.
Policy expert Tom Plant will talk about where Colorado stands on policies for growing the clean energy economy, what is happening in the current legislative session, and what we can work toward in the coming years.

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

Workshops

  • Energy Efficient Rooftop Units, presented by Fridgewize
  • Energy Codes for Commercial Buildings - A Top 10 Approach, presented by Shaunna Mozingo, Colorado Code Consulting
  • Grid-Connected Solar plus Storage, presented by Sunsense Solar
  • Latest on Lighting Technologies, presented by All-Phase Electric and Lutron Controls
  • Understanding the Core Values of the 2015 IECC for Residential Buildings, presented by Shaunna Mozingo, Colorado Code Consulting
  • Zero Energy Homes - Why should we and how do we build them? Presented by Scott Mills, DOE Zero Energy Builder Trainer
  • ReStore: Designing for the Long Term, presented by Dana Dalla Betta, Construction Manager at Habitat for Humanity

Hosted by

CLEER, Garfield Clean Energy, Energy Smart Colorado and CORE

Sponsored by

Contractor Expo sponsors

Vendor Booths

Ajax Mechanical
All Phase Electric
Atlasta Solar Center
Black Hills Energy
Building Performance Contractors
City of Aspen Utilities
Climate Control Co.
Colorado Crawlspace / Steam Master
Colorado Window Solutions
Conserve-A-Watt
Energy Smart Colorado

Glenwood Springs Electric
Holy Cross Energy
Lutron Controls
Modern Finishes LLC
One Source Lighting
Renewal by Andersen
Shamrock Sales
Stanton Engineering
Super Traxx Roaring Fork
Xcel Energy

Sponsorships and booth space are still available.
Contact Maisa Metcalf at (970) 704-9200 or Maisa@CleanEnergyEconomy.net

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EV Sales Event press conference

More than 40 people attended a press conference to announce the launch of the Electric Vehicle Sales Event, held March 15, 2017, at Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs. Vehicles on display were, from left, a Chevrolet Volt, two Audi A3 e-tron Sportbacks, and a Nissan Leaf. Speakers included elected officials from Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties and Holy Cross Energy.
Photo by Kelley Cox

Electric Vehicle Sales EventThree-county Electric Vehicle Sales EVent
offers discounts on plug-in cars

Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin officials
announce shared campaign to “REV Up Your Ride”

Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News

>> JUMP to EV Sales Event info page on GarfieldCleanEnergy.org

Officials from Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties gathered March 15 in Glenwood Springs to announce the launch of the Electric Vehicle Sales EVent: REV Up Your Ride, a three-month campaign to drive up purchases of electric vehicles.

Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney explains the difference between a plug-in electric hybrid and a battery-electric car at a press conference held March 15, 2017, at Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs. Listening are, from left, Holy Cross Energy board members Megan Gilman and Lynn Dwyer.

EV Salkes Event press conference

Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron explains the benefits of electric cars for consumers. Listening are, from left, Holy Cross Energy board member Adam Palmer, Glenwood Springs City Councilman Stephen Bershenyi and Vail Town Council member Kim Langmaid.

EV Salkes Event press conference

Holy Cross Energy board member Kristen Bertuglia applauds the four auto dealerships participating in the Electric Vehicle Sales Event. Listening are, from left, Holy Cross Energy board member Adam Palmer and Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron.

All photos by Kelley Cox

For the sales event, running from April 1 to June 30, four auto dealerships are offering discounts on seven models of electric vehicles. Participating dealers are Audi Glenwood Springs, Mountain Chevrolet of Glenwood Springs, Co’s BMW Center of Loveland, and Boulder Nissan.

For a limited time, the dealers will be offering discounts on plug-in electric and gasoline hybrids and on plug-in all-electric vehicles. The discounts can be combined with the state of Colorado’s $5,000 tax credit and a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 to significantly drive down the cost of a lease or purchase.

The Electric Vehicle Sales Event is led by Refuel Colorado, which is a program of the Colorado Energy Office, and Garfield Clean Energy. CLEER is organizing and managing the effort.

Funding for a three-month advertising campaign, along with teamwork to promote electric vehicles, is coming from CORE, City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village, City of Glenwood Springs, Eagle County, Town of Vail, Town of Avon, Holy Cross Energy, Garfield County Environmental Health and Walking Mountains Science Center.

The EV Sales Event goal is for the dealerships to sell at least 50 electric vehicles to residents and businesses in the three counties, said Vail Town Councilwoman Kim Langmaid. The Sales Event also set a goal of increasing public charging stations in the region by 25 percent, growing the current number of 160 stations to 200 by year’s end.

Langmaid was one of five elected officials from the region to announce the EV Sales Event at a press conference held Wednesday, March 15, at Holy Cross Energy headquarters in Glenwood Springs.

“Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions when they’re running in electric mode,” said Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney.

“Using electricity instead of gasoline for your car also means fewer carbon emissions per mile,” McQueeney said. “Colorado electricity is 36 percent cleaner than gasoline. And as we add more renewable energy to the grid, electric vehicles will be even more clean-burning.”

Electric vehicles are also less costly to fuel, with the electricity equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costing about $1.10 per “e-gallon.” Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron said more affordable fuel and less overall maintenance means electric vehicles can help reduce the cost of living in resort communities.

Electric vehicles are shifting the transportation fuel market away from oil and toward electricity, a domestic energy source, said Glenwood Springs City Councilman Stephen Berhsenyi. That supports Colorado electric utilities and their fuel providers, he said, and raises consumer demand for more renewable energy.

Audi, BMW, Chevrolet and Nissan dealerships offer EV models

Kristen Bertuglia, a Holy Cross Energy board member and environmental manager for the Town of Vail, announced the line-up of electric vehicles included in the EV Sales Event.

Audi etron

Audi etron Sportback

BMW i3

BMW i3

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Audi Glenwood Springs will offer the Audi A3 e-tron Sportback plug-in hybrid, with a $2,200 dealer discount. The A3 e-tron can travel 16 miles in electric mode, with 380 miles total range using electric and gasoline.

Boulder Nissan will offer two options for the Nissan Leaf battery-electric car, the S and SV options, with an $8,000 dealer discount. The Leaf can travel up to 107 miles on its battery, and is fitted for slow and fast charging outlets.

Co’s BMW Center of Loveland is offering three models. The BMW i3 battery-electric car is offered with a $3,000 discount. It can travel up to 114 miles on its battery. An optional gasoline-powered range extender generator increases range to 180 miles.

BMW’s new 530e sedan, available in late April, is a plug-in hybrid with 20 miles of range in electric mode and 540 miles total range using electric and gasoline. It’s offered with a $3,000 discount.

BMW’s X5 40e sport activity vehicle, also a plug-in hybrid, has 15 miles of range in electric mode and 540 miles total range using electric and gasoline. It’s offered with a $4,000 discount.

Mountain Chevrolet of Glenwood Springs is offering two models. The Volt plug-in hybrid sedan is offered with a discount of $1,000. It can travel 53 miles in electric mode, and 420 miles total range using electric and gasoline.

And the new all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, named “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend and Green Car Journal, is offered with a $300 discount. The Bolt can travel up to 238 miles on a charge.

The Bolt discount is much smaller than other models in the Sales Event, noted Mountain Chevrolet owner Michael Payne. The Bolt is not yet available nationwide and in contrast, many dealers are marking up prices for the Bolt to handle very high demand.

More information about the vehicles and dealerships is available on the Garfield Clean Energy website. People interested in driving an electric vehicle are encouraged to contact or visit any of the four participating dealers.

Glenwood Springs Post Independent, March 16, 2017
Auto dealers discounting electric cars April to June

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Clen Innovative Energy workshop

At the close of a clean energy workshop held March 3, 2017, in Glenwood Springs, elected officials and community leaders responded to the ideas presented for generating energy in the local region. From left, Pitkin County Commissioner George Newman, Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney, Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson, Glenwood Caverns owner Steve Beckley, New Castle Trustee Greg Russi, former CMC Dean Nancy Genova, and workshop moderator, Tom Baker.
Photo by Phi Filerman.

Energy experts, elected officials urge action
on innovative local energy projects

Region’s hydropower, methane, solar resources
cited as economically viable options for power production


Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News


A clean energy workshop put the spotlight on western Colorado resources that could be developed to produce electricity for the grid, heat for buildings and fuel for vehicles.

“People talk about a local food supply. Is that a possibility for our power?” asked Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky to start the workshop, “Clean Innovative Energy Sources to Power Our Region.”

The workshop, held March 3 in Glenwood Springs, was hosted by Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and CORE.

The 15 energy experts speaking at the workshop confirmed that local resources as diverse as abandoned coal mines, landfills, wastewater plants, beetle-killed timber, water pipelines, dams, gas pipeline compressors, sunshine and even the ground beneath our feet contain energy that can be tapped to help communities meet their clean energy targets.

“The takeaway here is ‘Do something.’ Unless you take a project and move it forward, it’s pie in the sky,” said Matthew Hazleton of TRC Companies.

TRC was commissioned by Garfield County to research and produce the Garfield County Energy Atlas, published in 2014. That report evaluated a dozen types of energy resources, identifying which areas of the county offered prime potential for energy development.

Since its publication, there’s been little action to use that information to develop projects. The “Clean Innovative Energy Sources” workshop was meant to move the ball forward for Garfield and neighboring counties.

Interest was high, with more than 100 people attending from Garfield, Gunnison, Delta, Mesa, Pitkin, Eagle and Routt counties. The workshop was held at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

Speakers urged community leaders to get started on energy-producing projects, citing “screamin’ deals” on financing for small hydropower projects, financially attractive renewable energy credits for methane capture, and declining costs for solar energy.

Elected officials in the room said the energy projects deserve close attention.

“I was so impressed with the depth of the presentations,” said Pitkin County Commissioner George Newman. He called for Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER, CORE and others to “look for the big ideas, and pursue a clean energy economy for the Roaring Fork, Colorado and Eagle valleys.”

Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney said, “My biggest takeaway is the role of a county commissioner on these issues. Climate action and clean energy are important.”

New Castle Trustee Greg Russi suggested a regional energy district to develop major clean energy resources.

The workshop’s energy experts said clean energy projects help the climate and environment by either generating energy while producing no carbon emissions, or by capturing methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, and converting it to less-potent carbon dioxide.

“If we can do something with it, methane is a great energy source, and we might actually see something change from its capture,” said Michael Coté, president of Ruby Canyon Engineering, a Grand Junction company that certifies carbon emissions from innovative energy projects.

Coté used the Elk Creek Mine methane capture project as an example. Methane emissions from the coal mine near Somerset, in Delta County, are captured in the underground mine, piped to the surface and used to fuel a generator that produces 3 megawatts of electricity.

Vessels Coal Gas Inc. runs the project, which was funded in large part by the Aspen Skiing Co. The electricity is wheeled through other utilities to Holy Cross Energy, which then provides the power to Aspen Skiing Co., the lead project investor.

A similar project is under way at the Golden Eagle Mine near Trinidad. Together, the two projects capture more than 1 billion cubic feet of methane per year that would otherwise have been vented directly into the atmosphere, Coté said.

Dan Tonello, Grand Junction wastewater services manager, explained how Grand Junction and Mesa County are capturing methane that was being flared from the Persigo wastewater plant. The waste gas is now scrubbed, pushed through a five-mile pipeline and used as compressed biogas to fuel the city’s garbage trucks, dump trucks and transit buses.

Tonello said the EPA’s program to track ethanol also works for his biogas project, generating income from a national renewable energy trading program for every gallon of fuel pumped to the city’s truck fleet.

Evan Vessels, of Vessels Coal Gas, said state and federal policies add to the financial viability of coal mine methane projects too. Coal mine methane qualifies for Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, producing valuable renewable energy credits. And the project sells carbon offsets on California’s carbon cap-and-trade market.

Vessels called for a cap-and-trade system to be established in Colorado, to create new capital for clean energy and methane capture projects.

Other speakers explained the potential for small hydropower projects, ground source geothermal heating for buildings and greenhouses, biogas from landfills and wastewater treatment plants, recycled energy from industrial operations, and solar electric projects.

Kurt Johnson, a Telluride hydropower consultant and president of the Colorado Small Hydro Association, said small hydropower projects can be developed almost anywhere water is flowing through a pipeline or canal. Colorado agencies offer grant programs that help with project planning, low-interest loans for construction, and free technical assistance to get projects moving.

Johnson said cities, towns and water providers can install small hydropower turbines wherever a pressure relief valve (PRV) is needed in a pipeline system.

“There are hundreds of thousands of PRVs in water systems in the U.S., and thousands could become small hydro projects, but people don’t know it’s possible,” Johnson said. “We have a huge amount of work to just get the word out.”

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Colorado State Capitol Building

Proposed bill provides permanent funding
for low-income energy assistance

Bi-partisan bill seeks voter approval for sales tax increase
to fund highways, multi-modal options
 

Colorado legislators are debating bills that would establish permanent funding for energy assistance to low-income households, bring an early end to the state tax credits for electric vehicles, extend utility energy efficiency programs for another 10 years, and ask voters to increase state sales tax for transportation funding, including a new multi-modal options fund.

These are some of the 18 bills on clean energy topics in the 2017 legislative session being tracked by CLEER on the Garfield Clean Energy website.

The website’s legislative tracker is updated weekly, with new bills on clean energy topics added as they are introduced by legislators. Here is a summary of the bills in play.

Energy Efficiency

HB 1116: Permanent funding for low-income household energy assistance
Sponsored by Reps. Millie Hamner and Tony Exum, Sen. Beth Humenik
Removes the automatic repeal of funding for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Funds managed by Department of Human Services, Energy Outreach Colorado and the Colorado Energy Office. Under current law, funding is allocated on a year-by-year basis.

Renewable Energy

SB 179: Extension of limits on local government fees for solar energy systems
Sponsored by Sens. Bob Gardner and Andy Kerr, Reps. Lang Sias and Leslie Herod
Extends the time period that currently limits local governments in the amounts for fees that can be charged for the installation of solar energy systems. Under current law, those limits would expire July 1, 2018. SB 179 extends that fee limit to July 1, 2025.

Alternative Transportation Fuels

HB 1232: Setting rates for utilities providing CNG or EV fueling
Sponsored by Rep. Jessie Danielson, Sen. Kevin Priola
Allows energy utilities to build CNG fueling and EV charging facilities for alternative fuel vehicles, sets standards for facility approval, and sets a rate structure for charging customers for fueling.

SB 188: Repeal state tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles
Sponsored by Sen. Vickie Marble
Ends the state’s alt-fuels vehicle tax credits, which apply to vehicles using EV, CNG, LNG and LPG fuel, on Dec. 31, 2017. Under current law, the tax credits taper down over the coming years and expire at the end of 2021. The Senate Finance Committee amended SB 188 to extend CNG and propane tax credits through 2019.

In the news: New York Times, March 12, 2017
Behind the Quiet State-by-State Fight Over Electric Vehicles

Energy Utilities

HB 1225: Electric Regional Transmission Organization
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Hansen
A regional electric transmission organization is an independent operator that provides wholesale transmission services to more than one provider of retail electric service within a defined geographic region. HB 1225 directs the Transportation Legislation Review Committee to hold a hearing during 2017 on the effects that participation in a regional transmission organization would have on electric providers, their ratepayers, and Colorado's market for renewable energy.

HB 1227: Extending electric utility demand-side management programs

Sponsored by Reps. Faith Winter and Polly Lawrence, Sens. Stephen Fenberg and Kevin Priola
Current law sets goals for energy efficiency programs offered by investor-owned electric utilities, such as Xcel Energy, to meet for energy savings and peak demand reductions, with a deadline of 2018. The bill extends the requirement for offering these programs through 2028, and adds another 5 percent to the energy goals.

HB 1299: Transportation Legislation Review Committee Interim Hearing on Electric Utility Energy Storage
Sponsored by Reps. James Coleman and Chris Hansen
Directs the Transportation Legislation Review Committee to conduct a hearing during 2017 on the benefits and costs of requiring the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to determine targets for energy storage systems (such as batteries, heat sinks, or pumped-storage hydroelectric systems) to be incorporated into an electric utility’s resource acquisition plans. Applies only to utilities subject to Colorado's renewable energy standard.

SB 105: Consumer right to know
Sponsored by Sen. Leroy Garcia, Reps. Daneya Esgar and K.C. Becker
Requires investor-owned electric utilities to provide their customers with a comprehensive breakdown of cost on their monthly bills.

SB 252: Utility Cost-saving Contracts For Local Governments
Sponsored by Sen. Jack Tate
Current law allows local governments to enter into energy cost-savings contracts for upgrades that cut energy consumption and costs in buildings and facilities. The bill adds contracts for increasing meter accuracy, and changes the definition of “operation and maintenance cost savings” to clarify that the calculation must be made on a net basis.

SB 271: Investor-owned Utility Cost Recovery Transparency
Sponsored by Sen. John Cooke, Rep. Dan Pabon
Requires investor-owned utilities to develop a transparent process for recovering actual costs from a property owner for extending utility service to the property.

Killed bills

SB 89: Energy storage systems
Sponsored by Sen. Stephen Fenberg
Declared that electric utility customers have a right to install and use electricity storage systems on their property to enhance reliability and efficiency of the electric grid, save money, and reduce the need for additional electric generation facilities.
The bill would have directed the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules governing these electricity storage systems.

SB 145: Electric Utility Distribution Grid Resource Acquisition Plan
Sponsored by Sen. Stephen Fenberg, Rep. Mike Foote
Directs certain electric utilities to prepare, and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to review, proposals to integrate distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar, home battery storage and electric vehicles, into utilities’ plans to acquire new infrastructure.

Transportation and Transit

HB 1018: Extend Voter Approval Window For Regional Transportation Authority Mill Levy
Vote

Sponsored by Reps. Diane Mitsch Bush and Larry Liston, Sen. Bob Gardner
Current law authorizes a regional transportation authority, such as RFTA, to seek voter approval for a uniform mill levy of up to 5 mills on all taxable property within its territory until Jan. 1, 2019. The bill extends the authorization to Jan. 1, 2029.
Passed by House and Senate, signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on March 1.

HB 1242: New Transportation Funding Revenue
Sponsored by Reps. Crisanta Duran and Diane Mitsch Bush, Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Kevin Grantham
Places a measure on the November statewide ballot to increase state sales tax and use tax rates from the current 2.9 percent to a new rate of 3.5 percent for 20 years, from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2037, for transportation infrastructure funding. Legislative Council projects revenues to be about $700 million per year. The first $300 million per year in revenues would be directed to the State Highway Fund. The remainder would be split, with 70 percent going to counties and municipalities and 30 percent to a new Multimodal Transportation Options Fund.

SB 278: Prohibit Nuisance Exhibition Motor Vehicle Exhaust
Sponsored by Sen. Don Coram, Rep. Joann Ginal
Prohibits motorists from engaging in a nuisance exhibition of knowingly blowing black smoke through its exhaust pipes in a manner that obstructs or obscures the view of another driver, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Violation would be a class A traffic infraction, punishable by a fine of $100.

Bicycles

HB 1151: Regulations Governing Electric-Assisted Bicycles
Sponsored by Reps. Chris Hansen and Yeulin Willett, Sens. Owen Hill and Andy Kerr
Creates a new suite of regulations governing the sales and use of electric assisted bicycles, including helmet requirements. The bill gives local governments the authority to allow or prohibit these bikes on public paths and trails. Passed by the House and the Senate.

Killed bill

SB 93: Operation Of Bicycles Approaching Intersections
Sponsored by Sen. Andy Kerr
Would have permitted a cyclist to pass through a stop sign-controlled intersection without stopping, so long as the cyclist slows to a reasonable speed, yields to vehicles and pedestrians, and can safely proceed or make a turn.

Recycling

HB 1275: Increase Solid Waste Diversion
Sponsored by Rep. Faith Winter, Sen. Kevin Priola
Directs the Department of Public Health and Environment and the Office of Economic Development to increase recycling by establishing waste diversion goals and by requiring landfills and counties to collect and report waste diversion data.

Holy Cross Energy

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


In this issue

2017 Energy Smart Contractor Expo

Three-county Electric Vehicle Sales EVent offers discounts on plug-in cars

Energy experts, elected officials urge action on innovative local energy projects

Proposed bill provides permanent funding for low-income energy assistance

EVENTS

Free weekly webinars offered on energy efficiency, every Wednesday

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 news@cleanenergyeconomy.net


EVENTS

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:

April 5: All About Compliance Snapshots

April 12: IECC vs. ASHRAE 90.1 - Building Envelopes

April 19: IECC vs. ASHRAE 90.1 - Mechanical Systems

April 26: IECC vs. ASHRAE 90.1 - Electrical Power and Lighting

The webinars are hosted by Colorado Code Consulting, the Colorado Energy Office and Xcel Energy. All webinars are eligible for 0.1 ICC CEU and 1 AIA learning unit.

Download the full schedule here.


IN THE NEWS

Boulder Daily Camera, March 31, 2017

Boulder to consider settlement offers from Xcel in 7-year municipal utility saga

Boulder announced on March 31 that it has received a pair of "best and final" settlement proposals from Xcel Energy following more than a year of negotiations with the utility in the city's ongoing municipalization case.

Boulder City Council is expected to vote on the proposals in April. If it chooses to proceed with one of the possible settlements, it will withdraw its application to the state Public Utilities Commission and will not go to trial April 26, as is currently scheduled.

Under one negotiated scenario, the city would abandon its push for energy independence by renewing a franchise agreement with Xcel, but under a new "partnership" that creates a working board with five Xcel appointees and five city appointees.

This board would review options to help Boulder achieve its targets of 100 percent renewable energy in the city by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction, based on 2005 levels, in total carbon emissions by 2050.

Follow-up coverage:
Boulder Daily Camera, April 2, 2017
Boulder Chamber, citizens' groups weigh in on Xcel settlement proposal


Aspen Daily News
March 11, 2017

Holy Cross Energy planning its largest solar-power project

Holy Cross Energy, which provides electricity for a large swath of the Roaring Fork Valley and most of Eagle County, has issued a request for proposals (RFPs) for a solar-power generation facility that could provide enough renewable energy to power about 600 homes.


Denver Post, Feb. 17, 2017
Pueblo commits to 100 percent
renewable energy

Pueblo City Council set a goal in February to become fully powered by renewable energy by 2035. The resolution states the city plans to reduce the demand for electricity through energy-efficient public infrastructure, businesses, residences and appliances. The city aims to involve and educate citizens about renewable energy, and will work to ensure low-income residents reap the benefits.


Early spring anomaly map

Spring Leaf Index Anomaly map
for March 28, 2017

USA National Phenology Network
March 28, 2017

Spring arrives up to 3 weeks early

The USA National Phenology Network is tracking the start of the spring season across the country using models called the Spring Leaf and Bloom Indices.

In 2017, we see very large anomalies in the southeastern and midwest states on the Spring Leaf Index map, where the Index was met up to three weeks earlier than what is typical (1981-2010) for these locations.


Energy efficiency upgrades completed at 396 Aspen employee housing units

As part of the Aspen Energy Challenge, the Pitkin County commissioners approved a $500,000 allocation from the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP) fund for energy-efficiency improvements in Truscott I and II, Marolt Ranch and Burlingame seasonal affordable housing rental units.

The work was led by About Saving Heat, which carried out projects to upgrade heating systems, install additional insulation, improve crawlspaces, repair solar systems, retrofit lighting with LED's and install water saving devices.  at the housing units. About Saving Heat worked with Rader Engineering, Integrity Plumbing and Heating, Anchor Insulation, Long Computer Controls and Durgin Electric on the projects.


EIA televisions in America

EIA's Today in Energy
Feb. 28, 2017

Average number of televisions in U.S. homes declining

Results from the U.S Energy Information Administration’s most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that an average of 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015, down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009.

The number of homes with three or more televisions declined from the previous survey conducted in 2009, and a larger share of households reported not using a television at all.


SWEEP
Feb. 23, 2017

Boulder Now Requires New Construction to Offer EV Charging Stations

The Boulder City Council unanimously passed one of the region’s most progressive codes to encourage installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in new, privately owned buildings.

Boulder is the fourth Colorado municipality to adopt an EV-friendly ordinance, joining Denver, Aspen and Boulder County. Salt Lake City is the other large city in the Southwest that requires EV charging stations to be included in new construction.


American Council
for an Energy Efficient Economy
March 23, 2017

Don't Tread on ENERGY STAR

In its recent budget outline, the new administration proposes to eliminate funding for the ENERGY STAR ® program. Its budget is about $50 million per year.

The ENERGY STAR program was started in 1992 under President George H.W. Bush. It  is a voluntary program that typically recognizes the 25% most-efficient equipment and buildings.

More than 16,000 ENERGY STAR retailers, manufacturers, contractors, and other businesses work with the program. From the program's inception through 2015, more than 5 billion certified products have been purchased in more than 70 product categories.

Approximately 1.8 million ENERGY STAR certified new homes have been built, and owners of 450,000 buildings, almost half the country’s commercial building space, have benchmarked the energy use of their buildings with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager ®.

Families and businesses have saved more than $400 billion cumulatively since the program's inception, saving $34 billion in 2015 alone.

Click here to read the ACEEE blog post, Don’t Tread on Energy Star


Berkeley Lab - Mango Materials testing

Mango Materials' new process is being tested at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit. Photo|Berkeley Lab

DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
March 7, 2017

New process being tested for biodegradable plastic

Plastics are everywhere, in grocery bags, bottles, furniture, and toys. When these products become trash, they persist in landfills, oceans, and other places where oil-based plastics can do more harm than good.

The bioenergy startup Mango Materials, based in Berkeley, Calif., has a new way of producing plastics to be biodegradable and petroleum-free.

Mango Materials focuses on creating an intracellular biopolymer from methane using bacterial fermentation. The end result is a polymer similar to polyethylene and polypropylene plastics used in everyday products.

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