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Moving the market for efficient and electric new homes in Colorado

Moving the market for efficient and electric new homes in Colorado
Each year, about 50,000 new homes are sold in Colorado, and more than half of these are single-family homes. Most of these new homes continue to rely on natural gas for heating, and are generally built to the minimum efficiency standards of the local building code. This status quo aspect of the new homes market only exacerbates the climate crisis. Although a modest trend at this point, some builders and developers are building new homes that are more energy-efficient, with better indoor air... More
 

Colorado updates transportation plans to comply with new climate rules

Colorado updates transportation plans to comply with new climate rules
Last month, Colorado’s transportation planning agencies officially updated their plans and project lists to meet the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) new greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. The new plans spend significantly less money on highway expansions and redirect billions of dollars toward multimodal projects like transit, biking, and walking infrastructure to make these low-carbon transportation options more convenient, safe, and affordable for Coloradans. By giving... More
 

Energy Efficiency Day in 2022: All about the heat pump

Energy Efficiency Day in 2022: All about the heat pump
Tomorrow, October 5, is Energy Efficiency Day. Want to celebrate by doing something impactful to decrease your home’s energy use and carbon emissions while saving money in the process? Pledge to make your next air conditioner (AC) a heat pump. Many homeowners are already aware of the benefits of installing more efficient LED light bulbs, or of a programmable thermostat that adjusts the air-conditioning or heating when nobody is home. With the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act... More
 

2022 Southwest legislative sessions wrap-up

Notable energy efficiency and clean transportation successes prevail in challenging landscape
2022 Southwest legislative sessions wrap-up
Now that the Southwest state legislatures have adjourned, it’s time to recap our progress and look to opportunities in 2023. Despite challenges posed by the lingering COVID pandemic and growing inflation, we’re proud to report numerous significant wins achieved in legislative chambers led by both Republicans and Democrats across the region. Here are some of the key legislative gains in efficiency and clean transportation from around the Southwest in 2022: Colorado had another banner... More
 

Electrifying oil and gas production: A cleaner way

Electrifying oil and gas production: A cleaner way
When we burn gas to keep our homes warm and heat our hot water, or burn gasoline to power our cars, most of us don’t think about how these fuels are produced or the additional emissions involved in the “upstream” oil and gas production. But the upstream carbon pollutant emissions are significant, and there are ways to reduce and minimize them. Colorado and New Mexico are two of the leading states in oil and gas production, and carbon emissions from oil and gas production accounts for more... More
 

Statement by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project on West Virginia v. EPA

Statement by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project on West Virginia v. EPA
We at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) join the loud chorus of voices across the country opposing the United States Supreme Court’s June 30th decision in the West Virginia v. EPA climate case as both illogical and ill-advised. The high court chose to hamstring the Biden Administration’s efforts to meet our climate goals. The majority turned its back on the wishes of the American people, the overwhelming majority of whom support more aggressive national action to reduce... More
 

Colorado heat pump rebates and tax credits for 2022 and 2023

Colorado heat pump rebates and tax credits for 2022 and 2023
Although there may be supply chain constraints on some heat pump products, new rebates and tax incentives make this year — or next — an excellent time for homeowners to consider adding a new heat pump. Heat pumps are very similar to central air conditioning (AC) systems, but they have a reversible valve that allows them to provide both heating and cooling. Because Colorado’s electricity is becoming more and more renewable-based, heat pumps significantly reduce the home’s carbon emissions... More
 

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: Utah edition

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: Utah edition
If you are looking for a way to reduce your personal contributions to carbon emissions, a good place to start is switching to an efficient electric heat pump to heat and cool your home. For homes in Utah, this will have about the same impact as switching your car (or truck) to an electric vehicle. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) just released an updated study of the benefits of heat pumps and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) for Southwest homes, about 65% of which currently... More
 

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: New Mexico edition

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: New Mexico edition
Moved by fires, droughts, and other climate change-driven extreme weather, more and more New Mexicans are asking, “what can we do to reduce our carbon footprint?” A good place to start is switching to an efficient electric heat pump to heat and cool your home. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) just released an updated study of the benefits of heat pumps and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) for Southwest homes, about 65% of which currently use gas for heating. Gas prices have... More
 

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: Nevada edition

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: Nevada edition
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project just released an updated study of the benefits of heat pumps and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) for Southwest homes, about 65% of which currently use gas for heating. Gas prices have increased significantly in the last six months, and as a result heat pumps and HPWHs are now much more cost-effective than they were one or two years ago. In addition, heat pump and HPWH performance and availability have continued to improve. For homes in Las Vegas and... More
 

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: Arizona edition

Benefits of heat pumps for Southwest homes: Arizona edition
If you are looking for a way to reduce your personal contributions to carbon emissions, a good place to start is switching to an efficient electric heat pump to heat and cool your home. For Arizonans, this also reduces the home’s annual heating costs by about 40%. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project just released an updated study of the benefits of heat pumps and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) for Southwest homes, about 65% of which currently use gas for heating. Gas prices have... More
 

Smart land use: The untapped climate policy

Smart land use: The untapped climate policy
Fly into Denver International Airport (DIA) in the daylight and you can look down on acres of open land being groomed for sprawling single-family development. In 2021, over ¾ of lots under development in the Denver region were in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties, mostly single-detached homes built on undeveloped land far from jobs, shopping, and other destinations. This type of low-density, auto-centric growth is incompatible with Colorado’s air quality and climate goals, and will only... More
 

SWEEP study: Benefits of heat pumps for Colorado homes

SWEEP study: Benefits of heat pumps for Colorado homes
In response to devastating wildfires in Colorado and other climate change-driven extreme weather around the county, more and more Coloradans are asking, “what can we do to reduce our carbon footprint?” A good place to start is switching to an efficient electric heat pump to heat and cool the home. This switch would have a similar impact to switching from a gasoline-powered car or truck to an electric vehicle. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) just released an updated study of... More
 

A just energy transition for New Mexico

A just energy transition for New Mexico
This is a guest post written by Travis Kellerman. Follow him on Twitter. New Mexico finds itself thrust into an unprecedented position of leadership in the race to transition to clean energy. We have an opportunity to unveil a model that combines climate and economic justice. We can show the rest of the country: This is how we adapt and fight together, with affordable energy for all and efficiency investments for those who need it most. There are dueling demands in the critical energy... More
 

SWEEP staff reflects on policy wins in 2021, gives hope for 2022

SWEEP staff reflects on policy wins in 2021, gives hope for 2022
With 2021 fading into the history books and a new year almost upon us, we thought it’d be the perfect time to check in with some of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project’s (SWEEP) energy efficiency experts to find out about a top policy win they’re particularly proud of from this past year, as well as a New Year’s resolution for 2022. On the heels of all that we’ve accomplished and celebrated over the past two decades, we are hopeful and looking forward to adding to those achievements. Happy... More
 

SWEEP celebrating 20 years of EE success on Energy Efficiency Day

SWEEP celebrating 20 years of EE success on Energy Efficiency Day
In recognition of the 6th annual national Energy Efficiency Day (#EEDay2021) on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is joining regional and national organizations, businesses, utilities, universities, and individuals in promoting energy efficiency — the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut utility bills, and reduce pollution. Energy efficiency is also an economic engine, amassing a U.S. workforce of nearly 2.4 million by the beginning of this... More
 

Arizona and the Build Back Better Act: An urgent call for support

Arizona and the Build Back Better Act: An urgent call for support
These are challenging times for Arizona. Record drought has caused another horrendous wildfire season and another summer of scorching temperatures and record heatwaves from Phoenix to Tucson. It’s also triggered the unprecedented decision to cut back Arizona’s share of water from the Colorado River, which will significantly impact our state’s hard-working farmers. In addition, intense heat exacerbates air quality problems, resulting in dozens of ozone alerts this summer and signaling unhealthy... More
 

Energy efficiency progress in 2021 Southwest legislative sessions

Energy efficiency progress in 2021 Southwest legislative sessions
Now that the 2021 legislative sessions have gaveled to a close in state capitals across the Southwest, it’s time to celebrate what we accomplished on energy efficiency and clean transportation. While most eyes were on the new leadership in Washington, D.C., important progress was being made in both Democrat- and Republican-led legislative chambers throughout the region. These successes came in the form of bills to eliminate wasteful energy use, cut air pollution and climate altering emissions,... More
 

Innovation in energy and climate policy for buildings

Progress in colorado
Innovation in energy and climate policy for buildings
The Colorado legislature adopted a wide range of new policies to advance clean energy and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its recently concluded 2021 session. In addition to approving new policies to lower GHG emissions in the utility, transportation and oil and gas sectors, the legislature approved several innovative policies that will increase energy efficiency and decarbonize energy use in Colorado’s buildings. Here’s a summary of these new policies. SB21-246 advances... More
 

A breakdown of Colorado’s giant transportation funding bill

Senate Bill 260 is a big win for electric vehicles, a mixed bag for climate
A breakdown of Colorado’s giant transportation funding bill
This week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 260 (SB260) into law, marking the passage of the most comprehensive transportation funding package in decades. The legislation will raise $5.4 billion over the next 10 years through a combination of general fund transfers and new fees on gasoline, diesel, electric vehicles (EVs), residential deliveries, and rideshare trips to repair and expand our decaying transportation system and clean up its air pollution. While not perfect, the ... More
 

On the cusp of a market transition: All-electric new construction in Colorado

On the cusp of a market transition: All-electric new construction in Colorado
We surveyed builders from across Colorado to uncover examples of new, all-electric homes — a trend far more common in other parts of the country, but finally gaining a foothold in southwestern climates thanks to some impressive technology advances. In SWEEP's recently-published fact sheet, we profiled 11 examples of all-electric construction either recently built or underway — including large master-planned developments, custom-built single-family homes, multifamily buildings, and a pre-K-12... More
 

Failure to pass HB206 leaves New Mexican families in the dust

Failure to pass HB206 leaves New Mexican families in the dust
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is disappointed in the 2021 New Mexico State Legislature’s failure to pass House Bill 206 (HB206), the Utility Affordability and Relief Act. Despite receiving full support of many lawmakers, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) Chair, low-income advocates, social justice organizations, and environmental groups, the Senate Finance Committee refused to hold a hearing on the bill. After passing two committees in the House, the House... More
 

Developer of Reno apartment complex reduces pollution by choosing heat pumps over gas

Developer of Reno apartment complex reduces pollution by choosing heat pumps over gas
There’s a critical need for additional housing in northern Nevada as the area sees rapid job growth associated with economic diversification. Charles Bluth, an entrepreneur who since 1969 has specialized in land acquisition and developments in California, Nevada, and Arizona, has helped respond to the local demand for multi-family housing with his 768-unit project, The Lakes at Lemmon Valley. This project notably avoids natural gas for space and water heating and cooking. Instead of fossil... More
 

ICC’s Energy Code — or should I say "Standard" — is moving to zero

ICC’s Energy Code — or should I say "Standard" — is moving to zero
After months of meetings, emails, articles, and hours of testimony and concerns voiced about the validity of a new concept, the International Code Council (ICC) Board has decided to move the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) from the ICC code development process to the ICC standards development process. The concern with moving to the standards development process was the potential for the IECC to roll back progress made on efficiency, which would undermine states’ and municipal... More
 

Colorado’s Local Governments Leading the Way on Electric Transportation with GoEV City Commitments

Colorado’s Local Governments Leading the Way on Electric Transportation with GoEV City Commitments
Local governments around Colorado are making the GoEV City commitment — a pledge to electrify 100% of the cars, trucks, and buses in their communities over the next few decades. By joining the GoEV Campaign, six communities — Fort Collins, Boulder County, Denver, City of Boulder, Summit County, and City of Golden — are giving their residents an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, breathe cleaner air, save money, and lead the way toward greater electric vehicle (EV) adoption... More
 
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