Key Account Spotlight Q&A: Town of Snowmass Village

We’re featuring our partners who help contribute to Holy Cross Energy’s goals and are leaders in the areas of sustainability and climate action. We had an opportunity to meet with Travis Elliott, assistant town manager, and City Councilor Tom Goode to talk about the Town’s partnership with HCE and their long-term sustainability goals.

What is the Town of Snowmass Village currently doing to make sustainability and climate action a priority for the town?

In early 2008, the Town of Snowmass Village started to engage with locals to create an environmental sustainability plan for our town. What followed was a series of public workshops focused on identifying and prioritizing community environmental issues, problem areas, and goals. Now, over 10 years later, we’re close to meeting our goal of 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the end of 2020.

We have a number of renewable projects anticipated to come online this year, including a hydroelectric project currently being designed, as well as solar panels being installed at Town Hall, the Snowmass Recreation Center and Town Park Station, allowing the Town to produce its own electricity.

town of snowmass key account spotlight

(Left to Right) Assistant Town Manager Travis Elliott, Mayor Markey Butler and Council Member Tom Goode

What is the Town of Snowmass Village current doing to make sustainability and climate action a priority for the town?

In early 2008, the Town of Snowmass Village started to engage with locals to create an environmental sustainability plan for our town. What followed was a series of public workshops focused on identifying and prioritizing community environmental issues, problem areas, and goals. Now, over 10 years later, we’re close to meeting our goal of 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the end of 2020.

We have a number of renewable projects anticipated to come online this year, including a hydroelectric project currently being designed, as well as solar panels being installed at Town Hall, the Snowmass Recreation Center and Town Park Station, allowing the Town to produce its own electricity.

When did the Town join HCE’s PuRE program and why? What is the benefit to the town and to your residents?

Snowmass Village is a part of HCE’s PuRE program, which allows town governments, businesses and individuals to become 100% clean-energy users by choosing to pay for a renewable energy source that offsets their non-renewable energy usage.

In January, 2019 we began our participation in the PuRE program. Both residents and Town Council were in support of us going in this direction. The extra money we put into the PuRE program goes to fund future renewable energy projects so we felt it was a win/win situation for both the Town and our residents.

Tell us about some of the challenges you face implementing the town’s renewable energy goals.

The biggest challenge is just getting the ball rolling on these types of things. It’s easy for staff to bring recommendations to Council, then getting that ball rolling, it’s just a slow process to have all the moving parts come together to agree on how something should be implemented.

Where do you see the Town of Snowmass Village in 10 years?

Between Phase III of the base village, Fanny Hill Townhomes, and a new sanitation plant, we’re changing. There are going to be new energy codes for the buildings. Our comprehensive plan specifies what the built environment will look like, but also the unbuilt environment and what spaces we are preserving and not doing anything with. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating our 2030 carbon reduction goals in 10 years.

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