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Colorado: Smart energy management helps Summit School District realize substantial savings

‘Energy Navigator’ tracks use, guides active management of heating, cooling and lighting systems

Smart computer-guided energy management is helping the Summit School district save big bucks.

Computer-guided energy management is helping the Summit School district save big bucks.

By Cameron M. Burns

Through a combination of energy efficiency and actively managing energy use, the Summit School District is on track to save more than $100,000 in energy costs this year.

In fact, after investigating the operation of lighting and HVAC equipment at Summit High School in the summer of 2012 with a new energy-management system called the Colorado Energy Navigator, Summit School District facilities manager Woody Bates and his staff were able to cut energy use by more than $50,000 during the three-month June-to-August 2012 period compared to the same period in 2011.

The energy-saving techniques they used are now being replicated across the district. Data compiled by Carbondale-based Clean Energy Economy for the Region show that, eduring the first three months of the school year, (Sept. to Nov.) energy savings across the district totaled about $24,000 compared to the prior year. Continue reading

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Colorado: Energy efficiency push could generate huge windfall and reduce the need for new power plants

Coal mining is so 19th century.

Study claims investments in energy efficiency show two-to-one return

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — While oil and gas companies push for development of new resources, yet another study makes it clear that conservation is an equally important factor in the energy equation.

An all-out energy efficiency effort could help Colorado utilities avoid spending nearly $7 billion constructing and operating power plants, and generate an economic windfall of $4.8 billion for the state, according to Howard Geller, director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

Geller’s organization this week published a new report outlining a step-by-step approach to realizing those savings, showing that every dollar invested in energy efficiency programs returns more than two dollars in savings on business and household utility bills in the southwest. The report is available, along with state-by-state findings, at www.20BillionBonanza.com. Continue reading

Colorado: Visitor center at Dinosaur National Monument earns gold LEED certification for design and operation

Visitor center construction incorporated salvaged materials

The Dinosaur National Monument visitor was recently awarded the Gold LEED certification. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Skylights, low-flow restroom fixtures, photovoltaics and efficient utility systems at the new Dinosaur National Monument visitor center all helped the National Park Service gain Gold-standard LEED certification for the facility.

The new Quarry Visitor Center boasts new “green” energy saving aspects, including increased water efficiency, reduced CO2emissions, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts,” said superintendent Mary Risser. Continue reading

Frisco: Peak One homes on track for Energy Star rating

From L to R, residential energy expert Matt Wright, builder Dan McCrerey, architect Matt Stais, Frisco planner Jocelyn Mills and Peak One developer David O'Neil take a closeup look at some the insulation that will help the home qualify for an Energy Star rating.

Good insulation, tight construction key to meeting sustainability goals

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Thanks to the close partnership between developers of the Frisco Peak One Neighborhood and the High Country Conservation Center, it looks like the new homes sprouting along Belford Street won’t have any problems meeting the high environmental standards of the town or the EPA’s Energy Star program.

The neighborhood’s sustainable design elements also fit into the town’s Clean Tracks program, aimed at making Frisco a model community for sustainability.

Matt Wright, the residential energy specialist for the center, recently tested one of the new homes under construction in the local’s neighborhood, and found that it far exceeds the Energy Star requirements under the environmental Home Energy Rating. Under the Energy Star program, new homes are measured against a baseline standard. To qualify, the homes have to be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code. They typically include other features that make them between 20 and 30 percent more energy efficient than standard homes. Continue reading

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