EcoAction Partners, the sustainability non-profit organization serving San Miguel and Ouray Counties, announces the release of their 2017 EcoAction Report, which includes 7 years of data on our region’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy use trends. Additionally, the report contains information about current and upcoming sustainability programs, local government sustainability accomplishments and updates on partner programs.
Annual tracking of regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for San Miguel and Ouray Counties show a slight increase since 2010. This upward trend is driven primarily by population and visitor increases. However, since 2010 San Miguel and Ouray Counties successfully decreased energy use emissions by 11 percent. This decrease in emissions from energy use (i.e., electricity and natural gas) is primarily due to electricity efficiency efforts and renewable energy offsets. Results suggest that the decline in energy emissions offsets the rise in GHG emissions primarily caused by population and visitor increases.
“In looking at the data that Ecoaction Partners collected over the last 7 years, we saw some really interesting trends in energy use and GHG emissions. That is when we knew we needed to bring this information to the public in a manner that could be easily understood,” says Heather Knox, Executive Director of EcoAction Partners.
EcoAction Partner programs continue to grow and expand. The SMPA Income Qualified (IQ) Weatherization Program helps low to mid-income individuals and families take advantage of home weatherization and energy efficiency services. In 2017, Greenlights LED light bulb program expanded it’s reach to Rico, Naturita and Nucla. Additionally, EcoAction Partners is taking steps towards a regional composting network by applying for grant funds to purchase and install neighborhood composting units.
Local governments are taking responsibility to track sustainability measures and accomplishments. As part of the Collaborative Sustainability Action Plan, governments are collectively working towards sustainability actions that align with the EcoAction Partners’ regional goals. Participating governments include: Telluride, Mountain Village, Ridgway, Ouray, Ophir, Norwood, San Miguel County and Ouray County.
Businesses and utility companies play a major role in partnering with EcoAction to increase regional energy efficiency. EcoAction partners with San Miguel Power Association, Black Hills Energy, Alpine Bank and Energy Smart Colorado to offer programs that assist businesses and residents with energy efficiency improvements.