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Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking. 

- Wangari Maathai

We do a lot of 'talking' in this newsletter, but we want to also show you what we are doing for our community and how you can contribute.

In addition to helping Pagosa Springs with a solarize campaign, assisting homeowners and businesses reduce energy use through HomeRx energy assessments, and diving in to the sustainable home features in next month's Parade of Homes, this month we feature water efficiency. 

Read on to learn more, and as always, we welcome feedback and ideas for articles! Email them here.

Water Conservation  

Water Conservation
from the Haig Girls' School Animation Competition

click to view the video

EE BathSave Water with a Cost and Energy Efficient Bath

By William Hendrickson

Safety and efficiency. That was a principal incentive for this design. I had earlier adopted the low flow shower head and installed the grab bars out of safety concerns for my aging body. Then, I wondered about the possibility of a tub side wall cut because that would help prevent a fall. The energy efficiency is in the low water volume tub and low-flow shower head design.

Read More on the Energy to Evolve Blog

Solarize Coming to Archuleta

Goals Defined

Solarize continues to sweep the nation, with Pagosa Springs as no exception. A steering committee has been formed and held four productive meetings to date. The group has a Chair and Secretary and sub-committees have been formed for System Design, Marketing and Outreach and Financing (to facilitate loan programs).

The goal of this effort is to provide 30 homes or businesses with a total of 100 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic power. The program will be open to anyone in District 1 of La Plata Electric Association territory (Archuleta County, with some parts of Hinsdale and Mineral Counties). Solar installers will all need to be based in District 1, as well.

Look for this campaign to launch in September. 

More information about Solarize

Climate Change Proposal

LPEA Approaches their trade Association

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) serves rural cooperatives like La Plata Electric Association, Empire Electric Association, and San Miguel Power Association all over the country. While they have resolutions and policies in place for Green House Gas Emissions, Social Cost of Carbon and Federal Clean Air Regulation, LPEA has proposed that modify their statements recognize the possibility of man-made climate change.

LPEA suggests working to develop a process to significantly move toward additional sustainable, carbon free sources of electrical generation. 

Download the proposal here

Home Building: More than Granite Countertops

A Sneak-preview to a 2015 Parade of Homes ENERGY STAR certified home

The cost of energy is rising, as are environmental costs associated with energy use. As a result, more homebuilders are realizing the demand for and attraction to sustainably built homes. “Third party verified homes” offer the highest quality assurance to those investing in a home. Other builders are increasing the number of energy efficient or green features.

A Sneak Preview
When Mantell-Hecathorn Builders start a project, they start down a strict path of procedures and verifications to ensure that the home is higher performance, more comfortable and longer-lasting than other homes built without certifications. And when they are finished, there is a healthy residence that is both elegant and practical.

Their entry this year achieved three significant certifications:
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indoor Air Plus focuses on the air quality of the home and verifies the builder has not used any materials that contain toxic chemicals.
  • ENERGY STAR (Version 3) uses a third-party energy rater to satisfy requirements on Thermal Enclosure, HVAC Contractor, HVAC Rater and Water Management Checklists.
  • It is also third-party certified under the even more demanding Department of Energy (DOE) Net Zero Ready program. Mantell-Hecathorn Builders are the only local builder to have certified homes in the DOE Net Zero Ready program. This is a difficult standard to achieve, especially given the fact that this is a larger custom home meeting stringent energy-efficiency and other standards.

Join this year's parade and learn about sustainable features of two other homes by picking up your copy of the Durango Parade of Homes publication.

Upcoming Events Not to Be Missed

4CORE and Partner Events

See our calendar of events

Regional Housing Alliance Homebuyer's Class  
Series: Tuesday, August 4, 11, 18, 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Fort Lewis College 
Call 970.259.1418 to sign up

Tour de Farms
Visit the gardens and farms in our area by bike.
Saturday, August 22, 8 AM - 2 PM
Smiley Building, 1309 E. 3rd Ave. Durango
Ride includes lunch, Ska drink and music!
More information and registration

4th Annual Verde Symposium
Thursday and Friday, August 27 & 28
Aragon Community Center, Pagosa Springs
This event brings together experts in renewable resources, alternative energy, and sustainable agriculture to advance rural economic development.  
Learn more and register here

Green Drinks
Thursday, August 27, 5 - 6:30 PM
Carvers Back Room and Patio
A place for anyone in the area to mingle, meet others and chat about local sustainability issues.

Have an event to share next month? Tell us about it!

About our Sponsors

Mantell-HecathornMantell-Hecathorn Builders, Inc. has been building and remodeling custom homes as a family-run company for 40 continuous years. They have developed a distinguished reputation for excellence, craftsmanship and service. Greg and Hunter are the first to earn their Master Certified Green Professionals credential in the state of Colorado. Mantell-Hecathorn Builders is also the only SW Colorado builder listed on the EPA website as 100% committed to building ENERGY STAR homes. Each home goes through rigorous third-party testing certification under one or more of the following programs: ENERGY STAR, DOE Zero Energy Ready , NAHB Green, EPA Indoor AirPlus. Mantell-Hecathorn Builders’ work ethic, experience, commitment to their clients and leadership in energy-efficient building have made them one of the most trusted builders in Durango. They initiated the Sustainable Building Education Program adopted by 4CORE and have been proud supporters of 4CORE ever since.
SilverPick ContractingSilverPick Contracting is a certified ENERGY STAR builder. They offer all of the benefits that go with this certification, which includes a 100% commitment to building only ENERGY STAR certified homes. SilverPick's high professional standards, cutting-edge innovation, attention to detail, and superior customer service have earned them an outstanding reputation in the building industry. From the eye of a casual observer, SilverPick's products may seem similar to the house next door, but, if you explore the entire project from the ground up, there are many differences. If you are thinking about a custom home, or remodel, don’t hesitate to contact them today!
HBASCThe Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado (HBASC) is a non-profit professional association of over 200 member companies, all local businesses, whose diverse services include building homes, remodeling, architecture and design, real estate sales, banking and mortgage refinancing, insurance, subcontracting and material suppliers. They are affiliated with the Colorado Association of Home Builders which has more than 1,900 member companies and the National Association of Home Builders which has 138,500 member companies. All three organizations have extensive social, political and educational programs. Members employ many of the people working in our community, several thousand here locally in La Plata & Archuleta Counties. These employees provide a significant contribution to the local community.
In addition to providing its members safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while maintaining environmental responsibility, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) offers a number of services and programs to assist with energy efficiency and conservation, including complimentary energy assessments and rebates for energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. And remember, before investing in a net metered solar array, call LPEA for an engineering review of LPEA’s system in your neighborhood. We want your solar system to perform to your expectations. Learn more about LPEA’s programs and services at

Thank you Local Funding Partners!

Durango     BP Pagosa
Ignacio    Silverton    Cortez       LPEA 
Copyright © 2015. 4CORE, All rights reserved.

Phone: 970-259-1916

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