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Colorado utilities collaborate for energy efficiency, cut check for local college

From the March 12, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 12, 2013

By Fallon Forbush
Communications Assistant


Presenters Adam Perry, senior energy services specialist, Platte River Power Authority (far left) and Kelley Gonzalez, senior energy services engineer, city of Fort Collins Utilities (far right). Behind the check are (from left to right): Tom Fuller, project manager, and Lance Taylor, project foreman, Merit Electric; Scott Anundsen, assistant project manager, and Tracey Abel, project manager, and Carol Dollard, energy engineer, Colorado State University

Platte River Power Authority and Fort Collins Utilities, both located in Fort Collins, Colo., awarded Colorado State University with a $429,387 check for replacing approximately 12,000 light fixtures in 30 of its campus buildings. The project consisted mostly of replacing T12 fluorescent fixtures with new low-wattage T8, low-ballast-factor lights and retrofit kits.

The energy efficiency rebate will cover about one-third of the cost of the upgrades, which will reduce the university’s electricity consumption by about 3.7 million kilowatt-hours and reduce electric bills by an estimated $248,000 annually, the utilities said.

"The lighting incentives really got us motivated to switch out a large number of our old technology lamps and ballasts," said Carol Dollard, Colorado State’s energy engineer.

Platte River and Fort Collins routinely collaborate to provide incentives for commercial and residential customers to save energy and reduce utility bills. Platte River also works with its other owner communities of Estes Park, Longmont and Loveland, Colo.

For residential customers, discounted retail prices on LED and CFL bulbs are offered via instant rebates at local hardware stores across the four cities.
The authority also sets aside approximately $2 million a year for commercial projects, said Paul Davis, energy services manager for Platte River Power Authority. Funding for the rebate programs is open and available to all who apply in advance and get approval, Davis said.

Fort Collins is Platte River’s largest partner, providing $1 million of its own financing to extend offerings for commercial energy efficiency projects, said John Phelan, energy services manager for Fort Collins.

A key to the city utility’s and the power agency’s collaboration is their ability to share contractors who work across the service territories, Phelan said.



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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro