Press Coverage

May 2021

  • Colorado transportation fees bill faces key tension between more highway lanes and addressing climate change
    The Denver Post - May 11, 2021
    A long-heralded transportation bill that would raise an estimated $3.8 billion over a decade from new fees on gas purchases, online deliveries, and other items passed its first test Monday in the Colorado legislature.
  • Colorado Lawmakers Unveil $5.3 Billion Proposal to Solve "Transportation Crisis"
    Denver Westword - May 9, 2021
    A broad coalition of state and local elected officials and Colorado business groups have unveiled a new legislative proposal that they hope will bring an end to a years-long quest to secure billions in new funding for roads and other transportation infrastructure.
  • Transportation funding bill backed by Boulder-area officials
    Colorado Hometown Weekly - May 7, 2021
    If approved, some $3.78 billion would come from new fee revenue through a number of fees, including a road usage fee, an electric vehicle equalization fee, a personal car share fee, a rental fee and more. An additional $1.48 billion will come through general fund revenue and stimulus dollars. That money is expected to come in over the course of 11 years, with most fees beginning in the state’s fiscal year 2023.
  • Transportation funding bill backed by Boulder-area officials
    Daily Camera - May 7, 2021
    A new Democrat-sponsored bill in the Colorado Senate that aims to raise $5.3 billion, primarily through new fees, would help fund transportation projects in Boulder County and beyond.
  • Measuring the Energy Efficiency of Evaporative Systems through a New Index—EvaCOP
    Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute - May 7, 2021
    Evaporative systems are probably the oldest technology for thermal comfort. However, they are still an essential technology in the food industry, environments for thermal comfort, and even for cooling data centers. Standards have been improved to compare the energy efficiency of this type of equipment. Using AHRI concepts with temperature data from the 29 most populous cities in the world, an EvaCOP index was created from temperatures that are easier to simulate than current parameters.
  • Arizona regulators reverse course, reject new state clean-energy rules - May 6, 2021
    After more than three years of wrangling, Arizona utility regulators have killed a proposal to mandate that state-regulated utilities get 100% of their energy from clean sources by 2050.
  • Colorado lawmakers unveil $5.3 billion proposal to solve ‘transportation crisis’
    Colorado Newsline - May 5, 2021
    A broad coalition of state and local elected officials and Colorado business groups on Tuesday unveiled a new legislative proposal that they hope will bring an end to a years-long quest to secure billions in new funding for roads and other transportation infrastructure.
  • Landmark Transportation Proposal Introduced to Modernize System, Support 21st Century Economy
    Western Slope Now - May 5, 2021
    Governor Jared Polis, Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, Speaker Alec Garnett, Senator Faith Winter, and Representative Matt Gray, announced the introduction of a transportation package that will create a dynamic, 21st Century transportation system that will drive Colorado’s economic comeback, establish a sustainable funding source to improve Colorado roads, invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and expand multi-modal and transit options to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
  • Impressive Coalition Introducing New Transportation Bill
    Colorado Pols - May 5, 2021
    Governor Jared Polis and other state leaders will introduce a new transportation funding bill this afternoon representing one of the top priorities of the 2021 legislative session. Whenever big new legislation is rolled out, it is usually accompanied by a list of names and organizations supporting the effort. But the coalition that will be in attendance on the West Steps of the State Capitol today is unusually robust: Governor Jared Polis, Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, House Speaker Alec Garnett, Senator Faith Winter, Senator Kevin Priola, Representative Matthew Gray, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver, Mike Kopp, Chair of A Way Forward and President and CEO of Colorado Concern, Kelly Brough, President and CEO of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Carl Smith, SMART Union, Elise Jones, Executive Director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and Jake Swanton, Public Policy Director, Lyft.
  • Colorado lawmakers introduce 2021 transportation fee bill
    The Denver Channel - May 4, 2021
    Colorado lawmakers unveiled their much-awaited transportation bill on Tuesday, saying 2021 is the year Colorado lawmakers will finally take action on such a measure after years of stalemates at the state Capitol and ballot box.

April 2021

  • Colorado’s attempts to pay for transportation improvements fall far short of other states
    Julesburg Journal-Advocate - April 29, 2021
    In a report last year, SWEEP, in urging a tax increase, said Colorado’s per-gallon rate would be nearly 20 cents per gallon higher now if it had indexed the rate to inflation in 1991, allowing for automatic adjustments. The state would have collected $7 billion more in taxes since then, according to our calculations.
  • Net Zero Cities: Microgrids may keep key services running during inclement weather
    BizWest - April 27, 2021
    Four local electric suppliers believe that using self-contained microgrids could be one way to hedge fears of power outages from winter storms and wildfires as efforts continue to decarbonize the power grid.
  • 4 Ways Cannabis Is Becoming A Greener Industry
    420 Intel - April 26, 2021
    Indoor cannabis cultivation operations utilize ten times more energy per square foot than a typical office building. The nature of growing cannabis is complex and for the most part, incredibly wasteful, but between regulations around cultivation and child-proof packaging, cannabis companies ironically have fairly limited options for “going green.” Until now.
  • Colorado clean car advocates applaud Biden plan to reject Trump rollback
    Colorado Politics - April 26, 2021
    Colorado Governor Jared Polis has been one of the most aggressive state leaders on auto emissions, proposing 994,000 new electric vehicles, roughly 43% of the market, by 2030 to meet his goal of sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, considered a driving factor of climate change.
  • Colorado on cusp of market transformation in buildings
    Mountain Town News - April 26, 2021
    A recent survey by SWEEP delivered 11 examples that include housing projects in Fort Collins, Denver, and Pueblo, plus a school in the San Luis Valley. There is also an employee housing project in a suburb of Aspen, and individual homes near Grand Junction and in the foothills west of Arvada. None have connections to gas, either propane or natural gas.
  • Tucson Electric driving grand plan to speed electric-vehicle adoption - April 23, 2021
    Electric vehicle (EV) owners and businesses that cater to them will get a boost from Tucson Electric Power Company as the utility amps up its efforts to support a rollout of EVs that is accelerating nationwide.
  • Support for PNM/Avangrid merger stipulation continues to grow
    The Grant County Beat - April 23, 2021
    The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and Avangrid filed a stipulation in its merger application before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission with the New Mexico Attorney General, Western Resource Advocates, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 611, Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Nava Education Project, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and To Nizhoni Ani.
  • On Earth Day, Cannabis Companies Should Take a Closer Look at their Environmental Impact
    Green Entrepreneur - April 22, 2021
    Indoor cannabis cultivation operations utilize 10 times more energy per square foot than a typical office building. The nature of growing cannabis is complex and, for the most part, incredibly wasteful. But there are solutions!
  • Clean energy advocates want more energy efficiency investments; NV Energy pushes back
    The Nevada Independent - April 8, 2021
    Advocates estimated that full implementation of Nevada Senate Bill 382 would cost the utility on the high end somewhere between $65 and $75 million. Ellen Zuckerman, co-director of SWEEP’s Utility Program and co-presenter of the bill, said SWEEP commissioned a study showing the net economic benefits of the legislation would equal about $1.73 billion over the next decade.
  • Avon to add two new electric vehicle charging stations in Beaver Creek
    Vail Daily - April 7, 2021
    The town of Avon, Colorado is one step closer to its climate, transportation, and sustainability goals with its latest grant. Avon was awarded $44,000 for two new electric vehicle chargers from the Colorado’s Charge Ahead Grant program. The two new chargers — a DC fast charger and a Level II charger to be exact — will double the capacity of the Beaver Creek Place Charging Station. With the additions, four electric vehicles can be charged at one time.

March 2021

  • Lawmakers' effort to undo clean-energy rules in Arizona advances even as its fate appears doomed
    AZ Central - March 31, 2021
    House Bill 2248 would void a zero-carbon requirement the Arizona Corporation Commission is set to approve for Arizona utilities, requiring them to begin transitioning to more renewable energy such as solar and wind and shutting down coal and natural-gas-fired power plants.
  • Appliance efficiency bill would mark “huge leap forward” in reducing Nevada’s carbon footprint
    Sierra Nevada Ally - March 26, 2021
    Appliances in American homes and businesses use electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, wood, and kerosene to power devices ranging from air conditioners, hot water heaters, and computers to deep fat fryers, stadium lighting, and massive ventilation systems in casinos and office buildings. Assembly Bill 383, if made law, would require the Director of the Nevada Office of Energy to adopt energy efficiency standards for a wide range of appliances used and sold in Nevada.
  • Transit Or Roads? Urban Or Rural? Transportation Funding Proposal Faces Pull From Many Angles
    Colorado Public Radio - March 25, 2021
    The sprawling transportation proposal from Colorado’s Democratic legislative leaders and Gov. Jared Polis hasn’t been introduced yet. Still, a recently released outline is already reopening old fault lines in one of the state’s most intense debates.
  • Rolling Out The Red Carpet For Transit
    Streetsblog Denver - March 24, 2021
    2021 is the year to build a more robust and sophisticated transit system in Denver, and we may finally have the funding to do it. Let’s do it right by focusing investments in underserved communities and by building the most cost-effective projects that cut pollution and maximize transit ridership.
  • Op-ed: Tax on electric vehicles worth considering
    Las Vegas Review-Journal - March 21, 2021
    Nevada Senate Bill 191 wants to assess a 10 percent surcharge on electric vehicle charging stations. The levy would function like the gas tax. The operator of the charging station would collect it from the customer, and it would eventually end up in the State Highway Fund. There would be no tax for charging a vehicle at home. “Instead of penalizing clean cars, Nevada should incentivize them to better enable the state to reach its climate goal of reaching zero emissions by 2050,” said SWEEP's Angie Dykema.
  • Despite PRC moratorium on utility disconnections, customers have received disconnect notices
    Las Cruces Sun News - March 18, 2021
    Despite a moratorium prohibiting disconnection of residential utilities due to nonpayment, some New Mexicans have received disconnection notices. A Feb. 3 PRC order prohibits rural electric cooperatives, water utilities and small gas companies from disconnecting service prior to May 5. Meanwhile investor-owned utilities and large gas companies cannot disconnect service prior to Aug. 12.
  • Colorado lawmakers’ transportation pitch: New fees on gas, online package deliveries, Uber and Lyft rides
    The Denver Post - March 18, 2021
    Coloradans will chip in a few cents more on gas fill-ups and pay extra to have online purchases delivered, take Uber and Lyft rides, and register electric vehicles to help raise nearly $4 billion over a decade to fix the state’s transportation system, under a plan lawmakers unveiled Thursday.
  • Avon to consider electric vehicle pledge
    Vail Daily - March 7, 2021
    The Avon Town Council on Tuesday will consider a resolution to become a GoEV Town, pledging to a plan which includes goals to transition the Avon fleet and transit buses to 100% electric or zero emissions vehicles by 2050.

February 2021

  • Going back to the drawing board on Northwest Rail, RTD also faces other incomplete projects from 2004 FasTracks plan
    The Longmont Leader - February 27, 2021
    SWEEP Transportation Director Travis Madsen told Colorado Public Radio that FasTracks to Longmont is not cost effective. “We have an opportunity to get a lot more folks riding the transit system, getting cars off the road, reducing air pollution and generally making quality of life in our region better by focusing our investments on the projects that are going to give us the biggest bang for the buck,” Madsen told CPR.
  • Environmentalists Pushing For Rules To Make Apartments More EV-Ready
    Nevada Public Radio - February 25, 2021
    Matt Frommer, a senior transportation associate with Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, said property owners should be preparing now for the move to EVs. He told State of Nevada that new apartments can “future proof” their complexes by installing the higher-capacity electrical equipment that EV chargers require.
  • High Country Conservation Center prepares electric vehicle readiness plan
    Summit Daily - February 22, 2021
    Summit County is preparing to accommodate an increasing number of electric vehicles as more residents, visitors, and public transportation agencies make the transition. As the county plans to expand its public charging network, the High Country Conservation Center is preparing a community EV Readiness Plan in collaboration with local municipalities and other stakeholders.
  • Colorado’s attempts to pay for transportation improvements fall far short of other states
    The Denver Post - February 21, 2021
    When it comes to transportation, the Colorado’s rare combination of tricky tax policy, stagnant revenue sources, regional rivalries, and standoff-prone politics has proved difficult to navigate, keeping Colorado from fixing its crumbling transportation system in a sustainable way.
  • No flame, no pain … local governments need to make electrification a priority
    Vail Daily - February 18, 2021
    If you heat a new building with gas, it will emit CO2 and methane for the next 50 years. Heat and cool it with electricity, however, and that structure’s carbon footprint declines every year as the grid adds more and more renewable power. No flame, no pain.
  • Increased electric vehicle fees short-sighted approach that penalizes vehicle owners and hurts air quality - February 18, 2021
    SWEEP's Matt Frommer and Kevin Emerson detail the Utah Legislature’s proposal in House Bill 209 that would drastically increase annual fees on electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid, and hybrid vehicles. EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, making them a key solution to Utah’s climate and air quality challenges. Increasing fees for zero-emission vehicles to $300 per year – more than double what the average new gas-powered vehicle pays each year in gas taxes – is the wrong approach to solve Utah’s road funding challenges.
  • After Polis’ Arm Twist, RTD Looks To Restart Boulder Rail Project
    Colorado Public Radio - February 10, 2021
    Westminster Station opened in 2016 and now serves the B Line commuter rail train, but so far it's as close as the train has come to Boulder. Colorado Governor Jared Polis says RTD must follow through on its promise to build a rail line from Denver to Boulder and Longmont in spite of its budget issues.
  • Las Cruces City Council Reviews Options To Decrease Emissions
    KRWG Public Media - February 8, 2021
    In 2020, the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico adopted a Climate Action Plan, pledging a 19% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Now, at SWEEP's urging, the Las Cruces City Council is taking steps to guarantee the goal is met.
  • Bill would help indebted utility customers
    Energy Central - February 8, 2021
    Three Democratic representatives in New Mexico introduced House Bill 206 on January 27 to wipe away up to 50% of debt owed by low-income utility customers.
  • Arizona Bills Threaten ‘Showdown’ Over 100% Clean Energy Rules
    Greentech Media - February 8, 2021
    A spate of bills making their way through the Republican-controlled Arizona legislature — some on a fast track — could undercut the 100 percent clean energy targets the state’s utility regulators are soon expected to finalize.
  • Bill would help indebted utility customers
    Albuquerque Journal - February 7, 2021
    Three Democratic representatives in New Mexico introduced House Bill 206 on January 27 to wipe away up to 50% of debt owed by low-income utility customers. Tens of thousands of New Mexico families are struggling to pay their utility bills during the pandemic, prompting some lawmakers to propose special assistance to help pay their debts.
  • Electric Vehicles Can Save Nevada $20 Billion
    Techregister - February 6, 2021
    Nevadans can save more than $14 billion through 2050 by moving from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles (EVs), according to a report released today. EVs can also reduce air pollution, providing an additional $3 billion in benefits for public health and the climate, and EVs can help make the electricity system more efficient, reducing utility customer bills by more than $3 billion. Altogether, the report identifies $20 billion in benefits.
  • Report Finds COVID-19 Leads to Consumption Decline in Michigan's Electric Choice Program
    Transmission & Distribution World - February 5, 2021
    Electricity consumption by customers enrolled in Michigan's electric choice program declined by 58 MW in 2020, reflecting decreased electricity use by commercial and industrial customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission's annual Status of Electric Competition report.
  • APS to Develop Tariff Allowing for Aggregation of Distributed Demand-side Resources
    Transmission & Distribution World - February 4, 2021
    The Arizona Corporation Commission in December 2020 adopted a proposal from Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson to direct the state’s largest investor-owned electric utility, Arizona Public Service Company (APS), to develop a tariff that will allow for the aggregation of distributed demand-side resources, such as smart thermostats, connected hot water heaters, and energy storage systems.
  • Study evaluates the electric vehicle use needed to meet Greenhouse Gas emission goals in Nevada
    Sierra Nevada Ally - February 4, 2021
    To better understand the level of electric vehicle adoption needed for Nevada to meet CO2 emissions goals, the Natural Resources Defense Council, SWEEP, and Western Resource Advocates commissioned a study from MJ Bradley & Associates that concludes Nevada could realize $21 billion in avoided expenditures on gasoline and maintenance, reduced utility bills, and environmental benefits by 2050 by driving electric vehicles.
  • Arizona adopts utility tariff for demand-side resources, including smart technology
    DailyEnergyInsider - February 2, 2021
    The Arizona Corporation Commission approved a proposal to direct Arizona Public Service Company to create a tariff for distributed demand-side resources, such as smart thermostats, connected hot water heaters, and energy storage systems.
  • Modernizing our transportation system
    Colorado Politics - February 1, 2021
    The way we currently get around wastes energy and money. Out of the $8 billion we spend on gasoline and diesel every year, $6 billion is literally going up in smoke, because combustion engines are so inefficient. SWEEP's Travis Madsen explains in this op-ed.

January 2021

  • Why efficiency has become a big part of energy in Colorado during 21st century
    Mountain Town News - January 20, 2021
    Two decades after he moved to Colorado and founded SWEEP, Howard Geller is moving on into the world of consulting, leaving his office and position as Executive Director to Elise Jones, who will simultaneously end her second of two terms as a commissioner in Boulder County. “Twenty years is about the right amount of time,” he said last Friday.
  • Colorado Leaders Cheer Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap
    WesternSlopeNow - January 14, 2021
    Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Energy Office released the state's new Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap. It identifies how we'll protect our climate, improve health, and save money through policies that will advance energy efficiency and put more electric vehicles on the road.
  • Colorado is behind on targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. How far should the state push industry to get there?
    The Colorado Sun - January 6, 2021
    The Polis administration is set this month to complete its “roadmap” for cutting Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions, but critics question whether the route is clear enough — and the milestones realistic enough — to get Colorado where it needs to go.
  • Elise Jones to head Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
    Boulder Daily Camera - January 5, 2021
    Elise Jones, who is concluding her final week as an elected Boulder County commissioner, will be the next executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, SWEEP announced Tuesday.
  • Elise Jones to head Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
    Longmont Times-Call - January 5, 2021
    Elise Jones, who is concluding her final week as an elected Boulder County commissioner, will be the next executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, SWEEP announced Tuesday.
  • Boulder County commissioner named SWEEP executive director
    BizWest - January 5, 2021
    Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones has been hired to serve as Executive Director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, a public-interest organization that helps utilities, state and local governments, environmental groups, national laboratories, and businesses improve efficiency.