Partnership with San Miguel Power to Incentivize Outdoor Power Tools!

Partnership with San Miguel Power to Incentivize Outdoor Power Tools!

Although often overlooked, gasoline-powered combustion engines in outdoor power equipment, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and weed whackers, pollute heavily, negatively impacting local air quality and emitting greenhouse gases that warm the planet.

Jason Corzine, CEO/President, Telluride Foundation.

U.S. EPA estimates that, hour-for-hour, operating the average gas mower produces 11 times more air pollution than running the average new car. Outdoor gasoline-powered equipment also contributes to noise pollution.  For example, the typical gas mower emits approximately 95 decibels, a level that not only impacts local quality of life, but also poses a health hazard, as it is above the 85 decibel threshold that can lead to hearing loss, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To encourage property owners and property maintenance companies to switch to electric equipment, the Telluride Foundation is partnering with the Pinhead Climate Institute and the San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) to expand the SMPA Beneficial Electrification outdoor equipment rebate program.

Representatives of the Pinhead Climate Institute recently approached the Telluride Foundation with a proposal to increase incentives to purchase electric outdoor equipment as an amendment to its 2017 Innovation Prize, a $50,000 grant to offset carbon emissions of the Town of Telluride’s Galloping Goose Fleet. The Pinhead Climate Institute participated in the Innovation Prize contest in 2017, which sought to surface creative solutions to solve local issues. As the winner of the $50,000 grant, approximately half was used to analyze bus electrification and carbon offsets. However, it became apparent to the Pinhead Climate Institute team, that remaining funds could more effectively be spent on an on-going project that would lead to a direct decrease in carbon emissions at the local level.

SMPA and EcoAction Partners have already been partnering to incentivize the adoption of outdoor electric power tools. Through the SMPA Green Fund, administered by EcoAction Partners, purchasers of electric power tools, who are a SMPA account holder, can qualify for a rebate.  Rebates are generally up to 25% of the cost, or a maximum identified amount, for lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, chainsaws, power washers, and/or snow blowers. The Telluride Foundation grant will accelerate this program by increasing rebate amounts, as well as provide a new $1,000 incentive to lawn-care contractors operating in SMPA territory who convert entirely to electric lawn-care equipment.

As of last year, electric equipment was 44% of the overall lawn-care market, and this market is accelerating as more communities and municipalities embrace electrification.

“We are happy to support this electrification program and it’s expansion,” said Jason Corzine, President and CEO of the Telluride Foundation.  “The Telluride Foundation is focused on local climate resiliency and our goals are to reinforce community efforts to reduce carbon emissions, as well as a partner with local organizations to promote climate resiliency. The Town of Telluride recently adopted the updated Climate Action Plan (CAP), which underscores the need to incentivize homeowners and businesses to convert to the electrification of outdoor maintenance equipment. This incentive program is an opportunity to help the town reach their overarching goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.”  

For more information about the electric power tools rebate program, go to or

The Pinhead Climate Institute is a subset of the Pinhead Institute, which is a Smithsonian Affiliate based in Telluride, Colorado that strives to promote science-education both locally and globally. An international network of the world’s leading scientists supports our many educational programs providing unparalleled access to high-level scientific education in rural Colorado. Pinhead Institute educates and inspires children in the greater Telluride region about the wonders of science and technology.

San Miguel Power Association, Inc. is a consumer-controlled, rural electric cooperative with offices in Nucla and Ridgway, Colorado. It is the mission of the San Miguel Power Association, Inc. to provide our members with safe, reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible electrical service, while demonstrating both co-operative responsibility and support for the communities served. SMPA serves approximately 10,000 members and 14,000 meters and supports local communities with over $300,000 annually in property taxes, over $100,000 in energy efficiency and renewable energy rebates and over $80,000 in scholarships, community donations and economic development grants.

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents, workforce, and visitors of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprises. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. The work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations.

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