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Snowmass: ‘Greenest village in America?’

When Richard Goodwin was just 13 years old, his father re-enlisted in the military to serve in World War II. People questioned the elder Goodwin's decision to leave behind a successful business at home, but he told them, "My country needs me."

Ever since, Richard Goodwin has had a sense of duty and civic service that is now propelling the Snowmass Village resident to take action against climate change. Speaking at the American Renewable Energy Day summit in Aspen last month, Goodwin announced his goal of making Snowmass the "greenest village in America," and now he is offering to cover half the cost, or $50, of a home-energy assessment on any village residence.

The assessments are performed by the Energy Smart program and facilitated through the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, a valley nonprofit also known as CORE. Goodwin had his home evaluated last year after his first time attending the ARE Day conference and decided to retrofit the residence.

"My last month's electric bill was $14," he said.

“It’s the patriotic thing to do. We need to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Richard Goodwin
Snowmass Village

Not everyone can afford the cost of retrofitting a residence without a loan as Goodwin did, but he believes it can be done for the same amount of money that a homeowner is already paying for utilities.

But for those who don't want to make such a significant investment, the analysts from Energy Smart will perform about $100 of quick-fix repairs on a home when they do an assessment — actions such as swapping out inefficient light bulbs, wrapping pipes and installing programmable thermostats, said Lucy Kessler, CORE communications manager.

Following a home evaluation, the nonprofit also provides a full report to homeowners as well as educational material and rebates.

Goodwin is hoping that businesses and others in Snowmass Village will follow his lead and that the town will become a model for other communities across the country.

"I think this is the first step to a larger effort in Snowmass," Kessler said.

In 2012, home energy assessments were offered for $50 and the 44 were conducted in Snowmass Village, according to a statement. However, when the rate increased to $100 last year, the number of assessments dropped by almost half.

The town's Environmental Advisory Board, in a meeting after press time on Sept. 9, was set to discuss how it can help spread the word about the incentive program Goodwin is sponsoring, said Kelly Vaughn, the town staff liaison for the board.

Currently, CORE is offering the half-off discount on assessments from Sept. 15 through Dec. 1. The incentive might be continued if it's successful, however, Kessler said.

"It's the patriotic thing to do," Goodwin said. "We need to reduce our carbon footprint."

Homeowners interested in setting up an energy assessment can contact the Energy Smart program at 970-925-9775 or by visiting http://www.energysmartcolorado.com.

jill@snowmasssun.com