Energy Savings, Financing and Rehab Program Outlined for County



Prowers County Courthouse


Plans for implementing a home or business owner’s energy efficiency audit program were presented to the Prowers County Commissioners this past Thursday, April 19.  Glen Marciniak, the Governor’s Energy Office Community Energy Coordinator, Laura Negley, S.E. Colorado Resource Conservation & Development Council Chair and Ravi Malhotra, iCAST President discussed the scope of the program, potential energy savings that could be realized, as well as potential job growth in the area. 

Under the self-sustaining program, certified and course instructed energy auditors would be hired to conduct a thorough energy audit of a home or business.  This would range from how much electricity your home appliances or business equipment uses, to furnace efficiency and proper use of insulation materials in a building’s walls and ceilings.  A cost benefit analysis would be provided to show the amount of energy savings that could be realized against the cost of a new furnace, storm windows, insulation materials or air conditioning system.  The representatives estimated the assessment cost per home would average $200 per house, or a 2,000 square foot business.   

Negley and Malhotra said the program is not driven by grant funds, which may only last for several years and then are gone.  Local contractors are trained to be state certified for conducting assessments and for making recommended alterations to a building.  Commissioner Gene Millbrand had stated that similar programs in the past had recommended only contractors from Pueblo or Colorado Springs, which took financing out of the region.  Malhotra said the program works on a small scale of operations, not for large factory sized buildings encompassing thousands of square feet.  Marciniak said the program goes beyond just an assessment, in that they can line out areas of financing sources for renovations and aid in securing bids as well. 

Negley said she plans to speak to local chambers of commerce, business and home owners and other county commissioners.  She said a public media campaign has been planned to inform the public at large.  She added that they are not asking the county for any funding, but only to assist through a letter of support for the program.  Millbrand said his only concern comes from a broad scale of operations in that, increased energy savings to the consumer might drive higher future utility rates to offset their economic impact.  As a basic conservation measure, he could favor the program.  Negley added that during an earlier meeting with Rick Rigel, ARPA General Manager, he echoed a similar observation.  While not promoting renewable energy sources, he would favor efficiency in energy consumption. The commissioners said the request would be added to a future meeting agenda, as they would not be able to take any action from the current meeting.  Additional information on the program is available at

By Russ Baldwin


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