Town of Mountain Village Launching Resident Environmental Incentives

Mountain Village Scenic

Words by Bill Kight / Environment

Coinciding with this year’s Mountainfilm Festival theme, “The New Normal”, the Town of Mountain Village is announcing a handful of environmental incentives for residents. The New Normal focuses on how communities can work together to combat climate change, making seemingly small changes that collectively add up to have a larger impact on the environment.

“Mountain Village has long been a proponent of creating a greener community, and this is most evident by our free pedestrian Gondola, which has been providing a greener method of transportation for the community for more than 20 years,” said Bill Kight, director of marketing and business development for the Town of Mountain Village. “These new resident incentives speak to the importance of coming together as a community to address the larger issue of climate change. This really is the “New Normal” for us as a society, and we want to reward our residents for reducing their carbon footprint and working to affect climate change.”

Mountain Village Resident Incentives
The resident incentives focus on solar energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and forest health, and the Town is investing more than $120,000 in providing these incentives to its residents.

  • Solar Energy – This incentive program offers a rebate of $.40 per watt for power generated by the sun on participating Mountain Village homes and businesses.
  • Energy Efficiency – The Heat Trace Incentive Program offers a free heat trace system controller to each participant. These will improve the efficiency of heat trace systems commonly applied on roofs and gutters, and controls can result in residents saving between 30 and 50 percent of electricity costs per winter.
  • Water Conservation – When it comes to water, the Town asks that you use what you need, and will also pay for the entire cost of an EPA WaterSense certified smart irrigation control system with weather-sensing capability for a lawn or garden.
  • Forest Health – Climate change directly impacts wildfire risk, as forests are becoming drier and there is an increased chance of fire. When residents create defensible space on their property to reduce that risk, the Town will reimburse residents up to $5,000.

“As a community, it is important to educate and reward our residents for doing the right thing rather than regulating them into compliance, and our incentive programs do just that,” continued Kight. “Additionally, we are a firm believer of practicing what we preach to our residents and invite them to join our efforts to reduce our community’s impact on the environment through these incentive programs.”

According to Mountainfilm Festival David Holbrooke, “Mountainfilm’s New Normal initiative is designed to lower the Telluride region’s carbon footprint so we are really gratified that Mountain Village is taking real and substantive action to combat climate change.” In addition to residential environmental incentives, people can also address the New Normal simply by taking the Gondola, as part of the Green Gondola Project also launching during Mountainfilm.

Green Gondola Project
The Gondola has long been a mainstay of the Mountain Village and Telluride communities, providing a greener and energy efficient transportation option for roughly 2.61 million passenger rides per year. Electricity used to operate the Gondola comes from on-site solar energy and wind power purchased through from the San Miguel Power Association and prevents an estimated 45,000 tons of carbon dioxide in vehicle emissions from entering the environment annually. The Green Gondola Project is funded in part by donations by the community and visitors. To help combat the New Normal, check out donation boxes at Gondola stations in Telluride and Mountain Village.

Throughout Mountainfilm, Mountain Village representatives will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the Town’s dedication to The New Normal and how collectively the community can help combat climate change. Additional facts and information on the incentives programs can be found at townofmountainvillage.com/green-living and for more information on the Green Gondola Project or to donate online, visit townofmountainvillage.com/green-gondola-project