CORE dials back service area, will keep focus on Pitkin County in 2021 |

CORE dials back service area, will keep focus on Pitkin County in 2021

Staff reports

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency announced last week it will focus 100% of its rebates and grants in Pitkin County and no longer serve other parts of the Roaring Fork Valley starting next year.

The change is necessary due to declining funds in the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program, CORE announced. Under the program, residential and commercial developers in Aspen and Pitkin County must pay a fee if their new development exceeds an energy diet. The funds paid are devoted to energy efficiency measures undertaken throughout the valley.

The change will affect the portions of Garfield County and Gunnison County in the Roaring Fork watershed. It could also have implications in the Eagle County portion of the valley, according to CORE.

“For projects completed, rebate applications submitted, and grants approved by December 31, 2020, regardless of project location within the Roaring Fork Valley, funding will still be awarded,” CORE said in a news release.

Mona Newton, CORE executive director, said more people offsetting their emissions rather than paying a fee to exceed their energy diet.

“The silver lining (to reduced funds) is knowing that it’s because more people are installing renewable energy systems at home and work,” she said.

CORE is in negotiations to keep a program going in Eagle County.

“In total, 18 percent of Eagle County residents reside on the Roaring Fork Valley side of the county,” CORE said in its news release. “Cutting them out of the equation would strand these community members who, unlike Garfield County residents who are served by Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER, have no comparable energy nonprofits within the watershed.”

CORE is in talks with the governments of Eagle County and Basalt on a cost-sharing agreement to continue offering energy efficiency rebates and grants.