• BID businesses invited to free energy-efficiency workshop, Mar. 31



    Workshop is part of Recharge Colorado’s Main Street Energy Initiative program

    DURANGO, Colo. – In support of Recharge Colorado’s Main Street Energy Initiative (MSEI) program, designed to help small businesses in Colorado’s downtowns save energy and dollars, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) will host a free informational workshop, Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011, 8-10 a.m. Businesses located in the Durango Business Improvement District (BID) are invited to attend.

    The workshop, to be held in LPEA’s multi-purpose room, 45 Stewart St., Durango, is a requirement of the Governor’s Energy Office for LPEA and Durango’s downtown businesses to receive available grant monies for energy assessments and installation of energy efficient lighting. During the session, LPEA will explain the basics of energy data management and how the cooperative can monitor and evaluate data for those participating in the program – ultimately illustrating the energy and dollar savings.

    “Essentially this program is the beginning of what we hope is an on-going effort throughout the state to encourage energy efficiency in smaller businesses,” said Sue Maxwell, LPEA project specialist coordinating the program. “For purposes of this initial grant, we will work with businesses (25,000 sq. ft. or less) within the Durango BID, and ideally lay the groundwork for a sustainable ‘Main Street’ energy efficiency program at LPEA to help merchants and small businesses on an on-going basis.”

    LPEA was one of 12 communities in the state, and the only electric utility, to be invited to participate in the first round of the MSEI program, and the cooperative will receive $7500 to launch the effort with local businesses. During the application process, LPEA received memorandums of understanding (MOUs) from businesses indicating their interest in participating. LPEA’s specialists have coordinated with these businesses (which include Carver Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango Arts Center, The Commons, Fredrick Zink Associates, Laurlin Building, Wagon Wheel Liquors, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the old JC Penney building at 8th and Main, among others) to both perform energy assessments of the facilities and establish baseline energy consumption – plus evaluate their lighting.

    “These businesses will be the first to have an option to retrofit their lighting with more efficient bulbs,” said Maxwell. “If a business wants to follow through with a retrofit, we can first provide rebates on the bulbs, then add rebates from the MSEI program – likely about $1250 until the MSEI money is exhausted, but each business will be unique.”

    Even if a business hasn’t been involved in the “first round” of funding, Maxwell encourages them to attend the workshop, as LPEA is building a waiting list for future GEO funds anticipated as part of the MSEI program. LPEA also has commercial energy efficiency lighting rebates available to all businesses within its service territory, which business owners can learn more about at the workshop.

    “If a business is interested in lowering their energy costs, attending the workshop will be a good use of their time,” said Ray Pierotti, LPEA project specialist. “The key thing is that we can do walk-through energy assessments of their businesses and help them begin the process of changing out their lighting.”

    Workshop reservations are not required, but requested, as refreshments will be served. Contact Sue Maxwell, smaxwell@lpea.coop or 970.382.7170 to RSVP or to learn more about the program and explore opportunity for participation.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 40,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.

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