Aspen reduces greenhouse gas |

Aspen reduces greenhouse gas

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” For the third year running, the city of Aspen government has exceeded its internal greenhouse gas reduction goals, according to environmental officials.

The city has reduced its overall greenhouse gas emissions, the pollutants that cause global warming, by 8.8 percent from last year and 23.7 percent from the “baseline.”

The baseline is the 2004-05 inventory of emissions that officials use to calculate overall greenhouse gas activity for city operations.

The baseline helps city officials know how much of Aspen’s emissions come from transportation, building heating and cooling, and other sources. The baseline and subsequent audits target where the city is succeeding or failing at making meaningful CO2 reductions. City emissions were tracked from Oct. 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2008.

“Individual departments within the city of Aspen have all been charged with helping the city meet its goals to reduce emissions by 2 percent from baseline,” said Kim Peterson, director of the city’s Canary Initiative ” the city’s program aimed at slowing climate change. “Most of our departments and the city overall not only met but wildly surpassed our goals.”

Of the 8.8 percent reduction, much credit goes to the two electric utilities that serve Aspen.

“Because Holy Cross Energy and Aspen Electric have ‘greened’ the fuel mix they use to produce electricity, our city impact was lower,” Peterson said. “The other reductions resulted from a combination of city buildings using less natural gas and a significant reduction in employee air travel.”

Some highlights to reducing greenhouse gases this year include the new 21-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at the water plant, as well as energy improvements at the Aspen Recreation Center. Greenhouse gas emissions from the ARC are down 21 percent from last year.

The city of Aspen still has future goals for reducing emissions further. City facilities are undergoing energy audits; the Castle Creek hydroelectric plant will supply 8 percent more renewable energy; the Aspen Police Department has ordered more hybrid vehicles for the patrol fleet; and another 21-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system will be installed at the water plant.

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