Committee presents Glenwood Springs’ climate action plan |

Committee presents Glenwood Springs’ climate action plan

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Glenwood Springs should reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city facilities to 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2012, the city’s efficiency committee says.

“It’s ambitious. It will require a con

certed effort to achieve it, but it’s not crazy,” said Glenwood Springs Energy Efficiency Ad Hoc Committee member Heather McGregor, during a discussion with the City Council.

The city should also reduce energy use in city buildings to 25 percent below 2006 levels and improve the emissions and fuel consumption of the municipal vehicle fleet, the group said.

After more than a year of work, the efficiency committee presented its 23-page climate action plan to the City Council with those recommendations among almost 180 others. Much of the work was based on what other communities have done.

The group picked the 10 most important recommendations: Offer rebates on electricity bills to offset installation costs of things like solar panels or solar hot water systems; purchase more clean electricity; appoint a city staff member and commit “significant resources” to coordinate energy issues; and conduct an extensive energy audit of Community Center facilities like the pool and ice rink and consider alternative energy to regulate their temperatures.

The other top 10 recommendations are: Look into geothermal energy for heating, cooling and power generation; expand and improve bus service; reduce driving by things like incentives for carpooling or taking alternate transportation; create a permanent energy and climate commission to execute and update the climate action plan; develop an outdoor lighting conservation program with incentives for conservation; and improve spring cleanup policies.

Last year the committee mined energy bills for data and established a baseline in December for Glenwood Springs greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. The group estimated Glenwood Springs produced about 7,337 tons of CO2 in 2006 compared to 3,204 tons in 1990. Part of the goal was to establish data to track progress.

The climate action plan also says the city electric department should reduce per capita energy consumption to 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2012. It says the city should divert 50 percent of solid waste from the landfill by 2012. The plan ” which says “other communities are many steps ahead of us” ” recommends greenhouse gases from all sources in the community be reduced to 30 percent below 2006 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050.

She said even something like an efficient light bulb giveaway could put a huge dent in the city’s electricity consumption.

“You could make a big dent in that 20 percent goal just by dealing with lighting,” she said. “You get a lot more bang for your buck with your conservation. You should think of it as conservation is your vegetables, and solar photovoltaic is your dessert.”

The committee recommended posting the plan on the city’s website and calling for public input, then holding a public hearing for people to give feedback. Some city councilors spoke in support of diverting waste from the landfill and improving recycling in Glenwood Springs. No formal action was necessary as the plan was on the agenda only as a discussion.

“The good thing about all this is it’s ultimately going to save people money on their energy spending, and it’s ultimately going to save the city money,” McGregor said.

The plan is currently available at Click the “Current Council Packet” link and then click “Climate Action Plan.”

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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