CORE picks 27 recipients of energy-efficiency grants | AspenTimes.com

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CORE picks 27 recipients of energy-efficiency grants

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency has selected 27 homeowners in Pitkin County who will receive grants to make energy-efficiency upgrades in their homes.

CORE's Reach Program will help low- and moderate-income families and individuals in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Woody Creek, Basalt and Redstone with funding for energy efficiency at their residences.

Each participant will receive an energy assessment with $100 worth of instant energy upgrades customized for their home. The upgrades include light bulbs, hot-water heater blankets and programmable thermostats. Once the assessment is finished, the organizations workers will consult one-on-one with homeowners to identify bigger upgrades to undertake and provide a $2,500 grant to assist. The bigger projects could range from insulation, air sealing, a new boiler or furnace, or efficient appliances.

For upgrades that cost more than $2,500, participants in the Reach program can apply for a low-interest loan from the Energy Smart Revolving Loan Program.

Patricia Stifer of Redstone is one of the participants in the program. "It's been a tough time for me over the last several years," she said in a prepared statement. "My husband of 55 years was the strong man I always loved — fighting all his health issues like a star, but he lost the battle this past January. With my fixed income now reduced, CORE came to the rescue, providing me the path to really enjoy my wonderful home in Redstone."

The Reach Program was started in 2014, when 27 recipients also were selected. The energy efficiency measures undertaken allowed the residents to save about 1,500-kilowatt hours annually. The average household in Colorado uses about 8,000-kilowatt hours annually.

"These annual energy savings translate to cost savings — each participant is saving close to $300 on their energy bills," the organization said in the statement.

Reach is funded by the Aspen-Pitkin County Renewable Energy Mitigation Program. Homes larger than 5,000 square feet are assessed a fee if they exceed an energy budget. The revenue is used for CORE's energy efficiency programs.