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Mountain Village: MV Commits $350,000 to Energy Reduction Projects in 2014





MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, COLO. – January 15, 2014 – In an effort to further reduce governmental greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayers money, Mountain Village Town Council earmarked $350,000 for energy reduction projects in the 2014 Adopted Budget. Potential energy projects will be divided into three categories: energy efficiency, alternative energy and other energy projects. Town staff will review projects based on potential energy savings and the projected return on investment; they will then make recommendations during an upcoming public meeting regarding how best to allocate the 2014 energy funds. 


“Reducing energy use is an excellent conservation commitment for the new year,” said Environmental Services Director Deanna Drew. “It is our hope that all Mountain Village residents and businesses will join in our efforts to use energy wisely and efficiently.” 


Mountain Village intends to focus first on efficiencies and to that end the town recently performed energy audits on all government buildings, including Town Hall, Municipal Building, Maintenance Shop and the Telluride Conference Center. These detailed audits identified energy and cost-saving opportunities for everything that uses energy in the buildings, from hot water to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). In addition, the audits included estimated payback periods and the amount of carbon emissions eliminated. 


To encourage community participation in the energy reduction efforts, the town is currently offering a discount to Mountain Village residents and business owners who purchase a solar panel at the San Miguel Power Association Community Solar Array in Paradox Valley. “Mayor Jansen prefers that we use carrots rather than sticks to reach our energy goals,” stated Drew. A portion of the earmarked energy reduction funds may go toward additional rebates, discounts for on-site alternative energy applications, and/or energy audits on Mountain Village homes and businesses. 

In 2009, Mountain Village joined the town of Telluride and San Miguel County in a pledge to reduce governmental greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by the year 2020, in support of Governor Ritter and the State of Colorado’s Climate Action Plan. At the start of 2012, the town had achieved a 5 percent reduction in overall governmental electricity, natural gas and fuel use; energy totals for 2013 will be presented at the February 20 Town Council Meeting. 


In addition to the state and local energy goals, the mayors of Telluride and Mountain Village jointly issued the Telluride Renewed Challenge to work towards powering both towns with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020. Former Mayor Bob Delves achieved the goal of 100 percent alternative energy offset for his Mountain Village home in 2013, while the Town of Mountain Village government is currently offsetting nearly 45 percent of its electricity with renewable sources. 

Drew noted that the skiing industry and, therefore the Towns of Mountain Village and Telluride, are especially vulnerable to the effects of greenhouse gases and climate change. Winters are predicted to start later and end earlier, snow quality will degrade as more precipitation comes in the form of rain, and snow-making capacity will be reduced due to warmer temperatures and decreased water availability (Katzenberger, J., ed. 2006. Climate Change and Aspen: An Assessment of Impacts and Potential Responses. A report in the Aspen Global Change Institute Elements of Change series, AGCI). 


“Mountain Village and Telluride depend on our natural resources for a thriving economy, healthy ecosystems and an exceptional quality of life,” Drew concluded. “We hope that residents and guests join our commitment to the environment by making 2014 the year they reduce energy at home and work.”