Local power distributor greening up | VailDaily.com

Local power distributor greening up

Cliff Thompson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Glenwood Springs-based Holy Cross Energy is kicking off an energy efficiency program aimed at increasing the amount of clean, renewable energy used by its 50,000 customers to 20 percent over the next 10 years.It’s called the Carbon Intensity Reduction Strategy. Carbon is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and it’s linked to global warning. Nearly half of all atmospheric carbon comes from electric power generation. The company, which distributes electricity in Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield and Gunnison counties, now gets 7.5 percent of its power from renewable sources such as wind.”Ninety-two percent of the power we buy is generated by fossil fuels,” said Bob Gardner of Holy Cross Energy. The energy distributor, which purchases its electricity from generators such as Xcel Energy, will offer incentives to consumers to install energy-efficient appliances. The carbon reduction plan will cost the average household approximately $1 a month, Gardner said.”Eighteen months ago we asked consumers what they thought about renewable or energy-efficient programs,” he said. “They told us they would like to see us move more toward cleaner burning and renewable energy and conservation programs, and that they’d be willing to pay for it.”If the program is successful it will reduce the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere from 1.67 pounds per kilowatt hour to 1.5, Gardner said. Holy Cross energy consumers used 107 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2003, Gardner said. The average household uses 900 kilowatt hours of electricity in a year.The local utility is embarking on a program similar to what Colorado’s Amendment 37 seeks. Voters will be asked if they want to require power generators in the state to get 10 percent of their power from clean, renewable sources of energy by 2015.Energy efficient designThe Rocky Mountain Institute will present a free seminar on energy efficient design in Eagle, Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Eagle County administration building.Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.comVail Colorado

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