Archive for Denver Metro

Denver Tour of Solar Homes Sneak Peak; links to National Tour

Preview the Denver Tour of Solar Homes Online


The Denver area Tour of Solar Homes takes place in less than a month, and this year you can preview some of the buildings involved online. 
Check out the Sneak Preview on the right-hand side of the
Tour of Solar Homes page on the CRES Web site

.

 

The 2007 Tour of Solar Homes will take place on Saturday, October 6 in Denver and most locations around the state.  However, some of the activities are slightly different. 
The Boulder tour will take place on Saturday, September 30. 
And the tour in Pueblo will span two days: October 6 – 7. 
See a complete listing of solar home tours in Colorado on the American Solar Energy Society Web site.

 

National Solar Tour

 

Outside of Colorado, people you can find tour in your own community by visiting the National Solar Home Tour website.

 

Volunteers Needed for the Tour of Solar Homes October 6

CRES needs volunteers to help with the Denver Metro-Area Tour of Solar Homes on Saturday, October 6.  If you step forward, you will assist homeowner with visitors.   

There are two shifts: morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and afternoon from noon to 4 p.m.  

Volunteers are welcome to spend the half-day they are not working touring homes themselves. Volunteers are also invited to attend a workshop free of charge from 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 titled "Solar Photovoltaics and Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Program" and presented by Jeff Scott of SolSource and Juliea Gauthier of Xcel Energy.  The
workshops take place at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Visitor’s Center at 15013 Denver West Parkway in Golden, which is two blocks west of the Denver West Marriott at I-70 and Denver West.

Following the workshop, veteran volunteer John Avenson will give a brief orientation for volunteers about the duties the day of the
Tour of Solar Homes
. To volunteer, contact Patty Roberts via email at: patty at pacificmillimeter dot com

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Desperation, but Good Desperation in Local Housing Market

Want to roll a Prius into your mortgage?

The fallout from the subprime mess has come to my neighborhood. This ad appeared in the community paper put out by the developer:

desperation.jpg

Now, you can get a free Prius with the standard solar you get on Harvard Communities’ (massively overpriced) Architect Collection homes. From an economic perspective, it makes a lot of sense for the builder to install solar; it costs them a lot less to do it than people who have to retrofit. But what’s the logic in having the builder fill your garage?

See the solar panels

These developers (especially the high end ones- these’ll set you back $800K) will do anything to avoid having to lower their price. Personally, I think they’re smart, people are more interested in buying things for status than practicality.

The world is crazy, but I shouldn’t complain. It may just get some people out of SUVs and into Hybrids.

But it does bother me that the most important energy efficiency things Harvard Communities is doing are quite cheap (good insulation, sealing the house well, using efficienct appliances) but it’s the splashy expensive stuff like a free car and PV that gets all the press. It makes people think that you have to spend a lot of money to be energy efficient. You don’t, but it’s a belief that is liable to keep coming back to haunt us for a long time.

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Western Governor’s Association Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop

This week, I’ll be covering the WGA’s Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop, which took place in Denver on July 17 and 18. I have drafts of 4 articles, the first two of which are an overview of the workshop, and a Western States Energy Efficiency Political update, which I just published on AltEnergyStocks. I’ll be publishing articles on Homebuilding and Performance Contracting later this week.

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July 20th–Denver–The Science of Climate Change

Please Join Us on July 20th-9-4 at the Adams Mark Hotel, Denver—Colorful Poster
Attached—Please Post—Thanks!

Take Advantage of Colorado’s Amazing Experts
on Climate Change Science!

 

If we
are going to address the problem of climate change we have to be clear on what
the scientists are telling us—and there is much more to the story than the
media have told us. Please join us on July 20th for a day long
workshop of essential information delivered by some of the world’s top
climate change scientists. Poster and Agenda attached and Agenda copied below.
Please join us—and pass the word!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citizens Working to Bring Clean Energy Solutions
to
Colorado

www.cleanenergyaction.org

 

The Science of Climate Change and
Leadership in

the Greenhouse Century

 

Friday July 20, 2007,
9am-4pmAdams
Mark Hotel,
Denver, Colorado

How Urgent is the Problem? How Long Do We
Have to Make the Needed Changes?

These World Class Scientists Will Bring Us
the Latest Information

Confirmed Speakers in Bold

 

 8:15- 8:45   
          Registration

 9:00 -9:15   
          Welcome and
Introductions

 9:15-10:00  
          “Leadership in the Greenhouse
Century: A Citizen’s Perspective”

                            
                  
Leslie
Glustrom, Clean Energy Action

10:00-10:15 
          Break

10:15-11:00 
          “CO2—Where Does it Go
and How Long Does It Stay There?”

                            
                  
Dr.
Pieter Tans, NOAA

11:00-11:45           
“Coming Climate:
Thresholds, Feedbacks and Predictable Surprises”

                            
                  
Dr.
James White, CU-Boulder
 

11:45-1:00            
Lunch (On Your Own)

1:00 – 1:45            
“Leadership in the Greenhouse Century”

                            
         
        
Governor Bill Ritter or
His Representative—Invited

1:45  -2:30            
“Leadership in the Greenhouse Century—A Republican Perspective

                            
         
        
Mike Bowman  25 x25

2:30-2:45              
Break

2:45-3:30              
Climate
Impacts and
Colorado: Bringing it All Home”

                            
                  
Dr.
Martin Hoerling, NOAA

3:30:4:00               
Wrap-Up Discussion

                            
                  
Members of Clean Energy
Action

                            

Registration–$30/person–before July 17t;
$50 after July 17th

Call 303-245-8637 or send an e-mail to lglustrom@gmail.com to reserve a seat

Organizational Pass for NonProfits, State Agencies and
Companies with Fewer than 15 Employees–$150

Organizational Pass for Companies with More Than 15 Employees–$300

Organizational Passes Provide Unlimited Attendance for the
Organization; Must be Reserved by
July
17, 2007

 

If you live on this planet you should be
there!

 

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Climate Action Days at Colorado School of Mines Apr 19-20

The Colorado School of Mines is hosting a free series of talks open to the public. Since Climate Action Days is in large part the work of a friend, I thought I’d help with publicity. Go if you can, they have a great lineup of speakers.

Some highlights:
Apr 19 Keynote by Tom Plant (director of the Governor’s office of Management and Conservation) and Tim Killeen, director of the http://www.ucar.edu/”The Future of the Planet Earth and its Inhabitants”

Apr 20 has a full day of presentations on Climate, Technology Solutions, and Policy Solutions. See the Flyer for details.

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Colorado News: Doubling of Colorado’s RPS

Colorado House Bill 1281, which doubles Colorado’s Renewable Portfolio standard (RPS) (as well as the solar set-aside) passed the state Senate on Friday, and is certain to be signed into law by state lawmakers.

Here’s how the new requirements stack up against the old Amendment 37 requirements (passed by a popular vote in 2004.)

rps.GIF
Not exactly a “doubling,” but is there a better way to describe it?

“A37″ are the old requirements for investor owned utilities (affectionately known as IOUs,) “HB 1281″ are the new requirements for IOUs, and “Co-ops” are the new requirements for Rural Electric Co-ops (which previously had an opt-out, although a few decided not to opt out.)
The opt-out contained a provision that each Co-op’s members (i.e. customers) vote to opt out, which most of them proceeded to do (one exception is Holy Cross, which chose not to opt out, however, this has led to some contention with Xcel as to whether or not their existing power purchase agreement with Xcel included the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with Xcel’s generation of electricity from renewables… since both utilities use these RECs to meet their requirements.)

While the opt-out elections all seem fair and democratic, that is before you realize that all the information most members were getting was coming from their co-op’s management. This is fine with progressive co-ops like Delta-Montrose and Holy Cross, but when it comes to troglodytes such as the management of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA), it’s a little more Orwellian.

In the recent House and Senate hearings, IREA was arguing for another opt-out from HB 1281, arguing that IREA’s members had voted against it in the first election, and that it would force IREA to raise rates (despite the fact that the bill specifically states that rural co-ops only have to meet its requirements if they can do so with less than a 1% rate increase (the more stringent requirements for IOUs can be met with an up to 2% rate increase.) In some ways IREA’s failure to get their opt-out into HB 1281 was due to their own maneuverings. In response to IREA’s funding of a global warming skeptic this summer led many of IREA’s members to wonder what else Stan Lewandowski was doing with their money that they did not know about. They founded IREA Voices to try to get a greater say in how their customer-owned utility is run. (If you know anyone who lives in IREA territory (just south of the metro Denver area, make sure they know to vote for the IREA Voices candidate in their district. (Mike Kempe, Mike Daniels, or Jake Meffley, if one appears on the ballot that came with their last IREA bill.) If you don’t live in thier districts, they are funding their campaigns out of their own pocket, plus any donations. Help out if you can!

It’s ironic that co-ops, which supposedly exist to serve the best interests of their members (as opposed to shareholders) are often the laggards (and in IREA’s case, even deniers) of the environmental effects of our reliance on coal for electricity. I believe that Stan Lewandowski believes he is doing the right thing by trying to keep rates down, and damn everything else, but in the end, the farmers he feels he is serving will be the ones who suffer some of the worst effects of global warming.

Anyway, it looks like momentum is finally on the side of those of us that realize the magnitude of the disaster facing us, but time is also of the essence, and the faster groups like IREA Voices can catalyze change, the better for all of us.

So let’s cheer Colorado’s doubling of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, but let that one victory inspire us for the struggles ahead. We’re a long way from the time when we can declare victory and go home.

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Seminar: Taking a Hard Look at IGCC. Denver Feb 12

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