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Aspen School District’s Energy Cuts Could Help City Win $5M

November 3, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

aspen, co.The Aspen (CO) School District cut energy use significantly, received a grant – and has a shot at helping the city win a $5 million competition.

The Aspen Daily News reported that the district got a $126,000 grand two years ago from Holy Cross Energy to upgrade lighting and HVAC. Among the impacts was a 23 percent reduction – totaling $40,000 in savings — in electricity consumption at Aspen High School during the year-long period beginning in August 2014. There also was a 12 percent decrease in gas use. The Aspen Middle school cut electric use by 5 percent and gas use by 2 percent. Finally, the bus barn cut 17 percent of its gas and 10 percent of its electricity use.

The city is participating in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, which focuses on electricity and natural gas use in residential and municipal buildings from January 2015 to December 2016. The contest – which is locally called the Aspen Energy Challenge – offers a grand prize of $5 million.

In early September, The Aspen Times reported that the city had become the third in the nation to run completely on renewable energy when it signed a contract with the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska. Until that point, Aspen had used renewables for 75 percent to 80 percent of its energy.

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