Telluride’s The New Community Coalition: Lights and energy savings

Telluride’s The New Community Coalition: Lights and energy savings

by Kris Holstrom

Tn_EnglewoodSmall (1) The night was cold, but a small crowd gathered in Telluride at the east end of Colorado Avenue last night. Hot chocolate (the best!) was provided by Telluride Truffles. Conversations were wide ranging. What was this crowd gathered for? To spread the light.

Telluride downtown merchants have been meeting for the last several weeks and last night, the  tangible result: lights. Merchants really wanted to see the town lit up for the holidays, because bright lights equal upbeat, cheery. And we’ve always had the beautiful big tree full of colored lights at the West End of the commercial district to set the mood. But what about the East End of town? Nothing, nada, zilch, until Monday night, thanks to many who are lending a hand: business owners, council members, and people on the street are donating to purchase and fund new LED lights on the town lampposts and newly lit trees on the East end of Telluride's Main Street. These lights, purchased both through Timberline Hardware and the Telluride High School Y.E.S. Club, are LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes, and highly energy efficient.

LED lights are truly power sippers (as opposed to gulpers). One thousand incandescent holiday lights would cost about $52.15 for one month of use, six hours each day. Compare that with 1000 LED lights of the same size – your guess????  Would you believe just pennies over $1.00! Yup – that’s $1.04 at our electric rates.  If you’re really curious you can go to the Dominion Power website and calculate both what LEDs would cost and how much savings you can enjoy. Dominion Power is in Virginia and their rates are slightly less than ours, but you’ll get the picture.

Last year we also took old light strands for recycling and sent them off to Michigan for processing. This year we’re very pleased that ACE/Timberline Hardware will take old light strands and ship them in their empty trucks to a Colorado company for processing to benefit cancer patients. Talk about a win-win.

And the Y.E.S. Club? It stands for Youth Empowering Sustainability and it’s a group of 12-18 Telluride High School students who have been actively involved in local sustainability issues and projects. They want to use the proceeds from the light sales to purchase recycling bins for the school and potentially to help support a Youth Sustainability Summit being planned for Spring.

Last year, in partnership with San Miguel Power Association and Tri-State, local schools were offered an opportunity to sell energy efficient holiday lights as a fundraiser, and utility companies offered a rebate on strings of light school groups could use for their own projects. Last year Telluride, Ouray, and Naturita schools participated. This year, so far, it’s Telluride and Naturita.

Look for the Y.E.S. Club on Noel Night, Wednesday, December 2. They’ll be under the arch, next to Pip’s, across the street from the Sweet Life. Support our kids, reduce your energy use, and spread the bright cheer energy efficient illumination brings.

Residents and visitors can contact the Y.E.S. Club for more information and to order lights any time this month. And be sure to check out the newly lit East End trees!
Y.E.S. Club Contacts: Emma at 708-7686, Nina at 708-7863 or Kelsey at 708-1278.

For general information call The New Community Coalition at 728-1340. And THANKS to San Miguel Power Association for their continued partnership in this program.

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