Green learning coming to Vail Valley |

Green learning coming to Vail Valley

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado –Going green can be expensive in Colorado’s Vail Valley, and in a shaky economy it’s not always a necessity for people.

Colorado Mountain College has added several energy efficiency classes and seminars to its schedule this summer and fall, though, and cost savings will be a topic more than once. The school is also trying to keep cost low for students, with workshops as low as $24, said Sara Gregg, who schedules classes and hires teachers for the community college.

There’s been a green “wave that has crossed this country,” Gregg said, so it’s perfect timing for the college to jump on board and offer people what they want.

“The economy isn’t very helpful,” she said. “Some of these (green) technologies are very expensive; hopefully people understand the need.”

With grant incentives, tax rebates and other ways to go green without going broke, Gregg said it’s important for people to know what’s available so they can take advantage of the savings.

That’s what Megan Gilman, president of Active Energies, a Minturn-based energy efficiency company, is going to teach students. Gilman is teaching a one-day seminar for the college on the financing options for energy efficiency projects.

Gilman said it’s important for people to look at the long-term costs – something might be a little more money now, but down the road it could save you thousands, she said.

“We do a full analysis of the payback down the line,” she said. “By far it can be much cheaper to do these things.”

Gilman points to the economy as a reason people should be looking at energy efficiency for any kind of building.

“Everyone benefits from these improvements, whether it’s a new home or an existing hotel,” Gilman said. “Energy efficiency is just so smart – also as a business decision.”

Gilman, the chair of the board of the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, said there’s been a slowdown of new building in the valley, but it’s a lot of the older buildings that need to be looked at anyway.

“If you’re a hotel operating at 10 percent occupancy, then you really need to look at your operating costs,” Gilman said.

The college held a solar workshop in June and had 31 students in the class. The next workshop is July 25 and Gregg expects a good turnout for that one, too.

“I think there’s a lot of interest (in the valley),” Gregg said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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