New EV Chargers Hit Winter Park Resort

Winter Park Resort is sporting 14 new EV chargers, thanks to Granby-based Mountain Parks Electric and its power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

According to a January press release, Tri-State provided project funding to support and expand EV use in the region and MPE facilitated project planning and coordination. At the resort, Village Parking Garage now has six chargers and the outdoor B Lot has eight. Representatives from the co-op and Tri-State presented Winter Park Resort with a check at a January 11 ribbon cutting event.

MPE General Manager Mark Johnston said, “Since the ski resort chargers were energized a couple of weeks ago, skiers have been plugging in.” And the co-op expects usage to increase over time as consumers get more access to EVs and as charging infrastructure continues to grow and develop in mountain communities.

Co-op Rebates Give Back Cash and Smiles

Colorado’s electric co-ops with Tri-State Generation and Transmission have offered energy-efficiency rebates in partnership with their power supplier for years. Rebates have been made available for LED bulbs, Energy Star appliances, electric water heaters and much more. It’s an innovative and well-received program that’s helped thousands of consumer-members. Rebate programs not only give cash back to consumer-members, but they can also increase efficiency efforts at consumer homes, which typically translates into savings on residential electric bills. Who doesn’t like that?

The concept of consumer product rebates is nothing new and noteworthy. But the rebate landscape is evolving and expanding to keep up with new technologies. Many co-op rebate programs now often include smart thermostats, home EV chargers, electric lawn mowers, and other less traditional items that benefit consumer-members and are — dare we say — really fun!

In addition to providing extensive rebate information via websites and other marketing materials, co-ops often get the word out about rebate opportunities and offerings by hosting giveaways for popular and exciting rebate-qualifying items.

Fort Collins-based electric cooperative Poudre Valley REA offers rebates for electric bicycles. In December, the co-op reported that a recent electric bicycle giveaway recipient was having the time of his life on the new e-bike he won in a drawing the co-op hosted.

Earlier this month, Mountain Parks Electric gave away an electric snowblower to one lucky consumer-member a who attended a community event hosted by the Granby-based electric co-op.

Mountain View Electric Association’s popular GO ELECTRIC! Outdoor Power Equipment Giveaway helps consumer-members make the switch to electric and promotes the Limon-based co-op’s rebate program. In its contests, the co-op gives away items that assist in taking care of outdoor residential spaces: Electric lawnmowers, trimmers, power washers, chainsaws and more.

The benefits to transitioning to electric products are endless — especially when replacing gasoline-powered equipment. Consumers who use electric equipment experience zero emissions when mowing their lawn, power washing their back deck or removing snow off their driveway after a big storm. The noise factor of many of these activities nearly goes away. While no one could ever really call any chainsaw “quiet,” electric options operate at 10-20 decibels quieter than the gas equivalent. Electric lawnmowers, however, are whisper quiet and offer a huge sigh of relief for the neighbors of the weekend warrior who loves to mow her lawn at 8 a.m. on Saturdays.

Check your inbox monthly for future Energy Innovations newsletters from CREA to stay up-to-date on Colorado electric co-op news and programs.

Electric Co-op Helps Ouray Go “Totally Green”

The City of Ouray is the most recent participant in San Miguel Power Association’s Totally Green program. CREA’s Energy Innovations newsletter reported on this program in January 2020, and Ouray joins other local businesses and government entities that consume 100% renewably-resourced electricity.

The Ridgway-based electric co-op typically fulfills its Totally Green program requirements with renewable energy from the open market. In this case, 100% of the city’s municipal electricity use is covered by the output of the Ouray Hydroelectric Plant.

SMPA members may voluntarily sign up for Totally Green and are charged an extra 1 cent per kilowatt-hour. The net proceeds from the City of Ouray’s contribution goes to the SMPA Green Fund that is used to develop locally-sourced, renewable energy projects. The Green Fund is also used to help the co-op give rebates to its consumer-members for energy efficiency and beneficial electrification upgrades and improvements.