Clean-energy group wants Glenwood to join in its mission |

Clean-energy group wants Glenwood to join in its mission

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Heather McGregor wants the city to participate in and donate $20,000 toward a regional effort to promote clean energy.

“There’s a big need right now for an accelerated shift to clean energy,” she said, mentioning climate change, high energy costs and dependence on foreign oil. “The idea behind CLEER (Clean Energy Economy for the Region) is to join forces for the region and create a team.”

Using clean energy has the side benefit of creating green jobs and long-term savings, she said, and CLEER has already received “loads of support” and over 50 endorsements from local businesses and people.

McGregor, a resident of Glenwood for 24 years, is a CLEER staff member and also works with the Glenwood Springs Energy Efficiency Ad Hoc Committee.

Several supporters representing the Community Office of Resource Efficiency and CLEER’s board of directors appeared at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

The idea behind CLEER is to offer programs to create partnerships between households, businesses, nonprofits and citizens groups to share information about saving energy. Areas of focus include energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, renewable energy, high performance buildings, smart growth, recycling and local food.

CLEER could provide technical assistance and advice on how to increase energy efficiency, as well as training for builders and inspectors. CLEER also has a great passion for promoting green businesses, McGregor said.

Glenwood’s participation in CLEER could serve as an example for the lower valley.

And the city is well positioned to be a leader since it owns its own electric utility and landfill, McGregor said.

“Especially these smaller communities downvalley really see the value of having a helping hand in fulfilling their own wishes, which are still very ambitious,” she said.

Aspen and Pitkin County already donated $100,000, she said. CLEER’s request is expected to come up at a future City Council meeting.

“We can do a lot more, and we should be doing a lot more,” McGregor said.

She invites everyone to CLEER’s June 13 Advancing the Clean Energy Economy workshop at the Community Center. It will go from 8:30 a.m. to noon and includes discussion about how to achieve energy and climate protection goals.

In another green topic, the City Council voted to create a geothermal utility task force.

It is supposed to update an existing Municipal Geothermal Heat Utilization Plan for Glenwood Springs prepared by the University of Denver for the Department of Energy. It will also look into how technology can be applied to geothermal resources in Glenwood ” such as harnessing heat for buildings or electricity. Another goal of the task force is to develop a business plan to construct and operate a geothermal utility.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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