Letter: Think Aspen is the best? Let’s prove it | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Think Aspen is the best? Let’s prove it

Many of us are transplants to Aspen, hailing from the West Coast and East Coast, the Front Range and the Midwest. We are young and old, Realtors and ski bums, artists and entrepreneurs. Our interests may diverge, but one thing Aspenites share in common is a competitive spirit. We compete against one another in the Power of Four, for the best time on Strava and for the most consecutive bowl laps.

Now is our chance to tap into that competitive nature and work together to beat Park City, Utah, and 48 other communities nationwide. Park City is a fellow participant in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national energy-savings competition in which the winning community will receive a $5 million prize. Park City has challenged Aspen to a "Ski Town Showdown" to see which ski town can install the most LED light bulbs and smart thermostats in October.

To help everyone roll up their sleeves and join in the competition, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, the city of Aspen and Holy Cross Energy are providing rebates for LEDs to pay for as much as half of your project. On top of that, the city of Aspen will give away a free smart thermostat (a $250 value) to anyone who completes a rebate-eligible energy upgrade to their home. A full list of eligible projects is available online.

This is a competition that anyone can participate in, owners and renters alike. And with cash-back rebates and a smart-thermostat giveaway, there is no excuse not to.

Our love of place generates in us a strong sense of pride — pride in our town and in our community. It would be great to beat Park City and show it that Aspen is the best. And saving energy at home has numerous individual benefits to be gained by us all. But ultimately, protecting the environment is at the heart of this competition through reducing our energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels. So, let's join together to compete for Aspen, but let's win this for the environment.

Mona Newton

Executive director, Community Office for Resource Efficiency