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Free home-energy upgrades are offered

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

Garfield Clean Energy, the town of Carbondale and CLEER will provide home-energy visits and free energy-efficiency upgrades to 57 income-qualified households in Garfield County through the 2015 Home Energy Program, according to a press release.

“This program is for households with incomes that are just a bit too high to qualify for the region’s other free weatherization program,” said Erica Sparhawk, program director for CLEER, which manages Garfield Clean Energy.

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Depending on the needs of the home, energy upgrades could include a furnace or boiler tune-up and safety check, insulation and air sealing, high-efficiency refrigerator, high-efficiency water heater, CFL light bulbs, storm windows, programmable thermostat and low-flow shower heads.

“Households won’t have to pay for any of these improvements,” Sparhawk said.

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The home-energy visits and energy upgrades are being paid for through a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, by funding from the town of Carbondale’s Clean Energy 2020 program, and by the energy utilities serving Garfield County: Xcel Energy, Holy Cross Energy, Glenwood Springs Electric and SourceGas.

A percentage of the visits and upgrades are earmarked for Carbondale residents, according to a CLEER spokeswoman.

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For rental housing, landlords will be asked to pay for up to 50 percent of the upgrades, Sparhawk noted.

For more information on the program, contact CLEER at 704-9200 or info@cleanenergyeconomy.net.

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The income guidelines are as follows:

Family size and income range

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1 person, up to $41,400

2 people, up to $47,300

3 people, up to $53,200

4 people, up to $59,100

5 people, up to $63,850

6 people, up to $68,600

7 people, up to $73,300

8 people, up to $78,050

“We see a great need for helping low-income families and seniors reduce their utility costs. Energy efficiency upgrades are the best way to meet that need,” Sparhawk said. “We hope to find additional funding for this effort, because we will be meeting just a small portion of the need in 2015.”

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