Free energy audits coming to some town residents

“It can serve as a model…”

A test program will begin this summer in Crested Butte to determine the energy characteristics of residential buildings in town. Free energy audits will be conducted on houses located on two blocks in the community. Approximately 24 buildings will take part in the pilot program.



Town Sustainability Coordinator Phillip Supino is conducting the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) pilot program. The idea is to monitor energy used in homes built between 1970 and 1990, along with historical residences built between 1880 and 1920.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity if we can gather data with this experiment and track savings that made through the suggestions that are implemented,” Supino told the Town Council. “We are tying it in with the state and the area’s Energy Action Plan.”
Supino said Atmos Energy and the Gunnison County Electric Association would both participate in the program and help monitor energy bills. The Office for Resource Efficiency (ORE) will also help with the program.
“This can serve as a model for the rest of the county,” said ORE Community Energy Coordinator Maya Silver.
“The research component is really important,” added ORE Executive Director Andris Zobs. “It’s a really sensible way to go about it.”
Supino said that the town’s single largest emissions sector is residential building heating and electrical use, accounting for nearly 50 percent of total emissions. “Any serious attempt to lower emissions in town must include improved residential energy efficiency,” he said.
The idea of the program is to leverage state and utility rebates to town funds and provide free energy audits from local providers to a limited number of town residents.
Once the audit is performed, the residents will receive from ORE a customized list of recommended efficiency measures based on the audit results and a list of rebates and other funding sources to help offset the cost of those measures.
The intent is to make it as easy and affordable as possible for homeowners to lower their energy use and costs.
The data collected could then be used to expand the scope of the program; eventually the most cost-effective methods of reducing emission and reducing costs can be implemented on a broad scale in the valley.
The Town Council allocated $4,000 toward the pilot program to help subsidize the cost of the audits. “I’m excited about this program and think it is a great step forward toward sustainability,” said Mayor Leah Williams.

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