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Getting leaner and greener in the Roaring Fork Valley

Kim Doose

Holy Cross Energy and Community Office of Resource Efficiency will provide cash to its consumers who are interested in making their home or business leaner and greener by using renewable energy.On Nov. 3 Rocky Mountain Institute and Holy Cross Energy hosted a workshop that aimed to inform consumers on strategies they can use to make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient.Some forms of energy are called renewable because they use fuel sources that will not run out. Renewable energy technologies capture this energy and change it into practical forms of power. These technologies are often expressed as clean or green because they generate modest amounts of pollutants, or none at all.By educating the public on renewable energy, Holy Cross and CORE have established a new rebate program as an incentive for customers to purchase Energy Star or energy-efficient products.A lot of customers are taking advantage of that, said Kathie Warner, owner of Sears.In addition to the rebate, high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines use as little as one-third the water of regular appliances for even more savings.Look for the Energy Star symbol or tag, said Jimmy Snowden, an associate at Sears. Energy Star products meet strict energy efficient guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy. The high-end pricey products have expanded into affordable models and are reasonably priced for the average consumer.The products are becoming so innovative. Theyve taken new technology to the mainstream, said Tom Knipping, co-owner of Contract Appliance.However, you may not have to fork over hundreds of dollars to incorporate renewable energy into your home. By buying home and office products, programmable thermostats and compact fluorescent light bulbs that are energy efficient, families can save about a third on their energy bill.Last year, because more people chose to use Energy Star, consumers saved enough energy to power 20 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emission equivalent to 18 million cars, which, according to Energy Star, saved $8 billion.Americans are even changing the way they drive, which is why there is a huge demand for hybrid electric vehicles. HEVs combine an efficient gas engine with an emissions-free electric motor.It has power, its not anemic, and you dont have to plug it in, said Ken McGraw, a sales associate at Bighorn Toyota. The car averages 50-60 miles to the gallon, and consumers who purchase a hybrid can receive a tax break.Glenwood Springs City council member Dan Richardson, who attended the Holy Cross Workshop, is creating a team of citizens willing to find ways to integrate these advancements into the cities policies and procedures.Holy Cross believes that through efficiency, conservation and renewable energy they can make a world of difference, locally and globally.Im hoping we can change things, said Craig Tate, of Holy Cross Energy. While reducing carbon emissions, we want to do everything we can for our consumers.

The team from Contract Appliance Center, from left, John Dragon, of Silt, account manager; Maggie Klink, of New Castle, co-owner; Patricia Stark, of Rifle, account manager; and Tom Knipping, of Silt, co-owner.

From Mr. Ts Hardware & Building Supply, from left, Bill Schoenecker, of New Castle; Rick Lively, of New Castle; Bill Nichols, of DeBeque; and Craig Messinger, of Rifle.

Some of the crew from Bighorn Toyota who can help you get into a hybrid car, from left, Ken McGraw, of Glenwood, is in sales; Jennifer Rose, of New Castle, is finance manager; Chet Garling, of Glenwood, is sales manager; and Steve Zeder, of Glenwood, is general manager.

Kathie Warner, left, of Parachute, owns Sears; and Jimmy Snowden, of New Castle, is a Sears associate who is trained in energy efficient products.

Holy Cross Energy co-organizers from the renewable energy event, Craig Tate, left, of Glenwood, is an energy auditor, and Bob Gardner, of Basalt, is general manager of support and services.

Rocky Mountain Institute co-organizers, from left, Ginny Yang, of Aspen, assistant to the director; Alexis Karolides, of Old Snowmass, team leader for green development services; and Morely McBride, of Old Snowmass, who works in communications.

The Wal-Mart electronics department can direct you to home energy efficient home and office equipment, from left, Tarcila Benitez, of Glenwood, is a sales associate; Rob Morrison, of New Castle, is a sales associate; and Chris Searls, of Glenwood, is a customer service specialist.


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