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Co-ops Team With Colorado Energy Office on Energy Efficiency Pilot Project

March 18, 2014

For the last several months, CREA and four of our member co-ops have been working with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) to develop an energy efficiency pilot project. Yesterday, CEO hosted the kickoff meeting for the Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Pilot Program, a program that will provide energy audits to a dozen Colorado farms and ranches and ultimately energy efficiency retrofits that will help those co-op member-owners save money on their power bills.

The four co-ops involved, United Power, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, Morgan County Rural Electric Association, and Highline Electric Association, identified producers in their service territories who would benefit from the installation of various types of energy efficient lighting, motors, and other equipment. Under the program, CEO will fund 75% of the costs of retrofits, up to a cap of $25,000 per project. The balance of the costs of the retrofits may be covered by a combination of rebates from Tri-State, or funds from the Colorado Department of Agriculture or the USDA. 

CEO has retained a company from Vermont called EnSave to administer the program and perform the energy audits. Each of the co-ops and their member-owners will work with EnSave to review their past energy bills and evaluate the steps they could take to improve the energy efficiency of their operations. EnSave has a lot of experience working with co-ops and in fact its CEO is a member-owner of an electric co-op.

The pilot project is on a fast track and CEO hopes to complete four of the retrofit projects that are identified in the course of the audits by June 30 this year. We appreciate the work of the four co-ops involved, as well as Tri-State, to provide the information needed and to work with the co-op member-owners to complete the projects. Electric co-ops have long worked with their member-owners to increase the efficiency of their operations, and we’re excited about the prospects of continuing that work with the Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Project.

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