How it works: Electricity generated by renewable resources is placed on the same grid as traditional electricity. The purchase of Green Blocks guarantees that the renewable energy being purchased is actually generated from a renewable source and placed on the grid. One credit, or Green Block, costs $1.00 per block, per month and each block represents 100 kilowatt hours of renewable energy. Buying one Green Block is equivalent to not driving a car for 1,800 miles or planting a half-acre of trees.
The amount of energy usage varies by location, so each Telluride Sports store will be purchasing the number of blocks needed to offset their total monthly energy consumption. If a store uses 800 kilowatt hours per month, they will purchase eight blocks. Telluride Sports is initially purchasing 2,880 Green Blocks for their 11 participating locations.
Additionally, following an extensive energy use audit provided by SMPA and the local non-profit Eco Action Partners in all 11 stores, the Telluride Sports team determined that switching existing lighting to more energy efficient LED lighting would be the most effective way to decrease energy use. Based on that decision, beginning last October, the shops started replacing the older lighting and are now approximately 75 percent converted to LED. The estimated energy savings from this retrofit is expected to cover the additional cost of purchasing the Green Blocks. Another benefit from the transition to LEDs is that the longer life of LED bulbs will result in an estimated 1,200 fewer traditional lightbulbs going into a landfill each year.
“Living and working in a spectacular setting like Telluride makes all of our employees keenly aware of the importance of becoming as energy efficient as possible because we all want to preserve our fragile environment,” explains Todd Brewer, director of operations for Vail Resorts Retail western slope. “When we learned more about the Green Blocks program offered by the San Miguel Power Association, we recognized that it was a very natural way for us to start making a meaningful difference in supporting renewable energy sources,” he continued.
The program is also available to homes as well as businesses in the SMPA service area. Green Blocks may be purchased by any SMPA member to offset their energy use. The more homes and businesses that participate, the greater the impact on reducing the San Miguel region’s carbon footprint.
“When SMPA members like Telluride Sports participate, they secure the environmental benefits associated with their purchase of renewable energy,” explains Wiley Freeman, SMPA Member Services Manager. “This furthers our communities’ efforts to reduce, offset, and ultimately eliminate carbon pollution.”
Another benefit of the program is that all proceeds from the sale of Green Blocks directly supports the development of more local renewable energy such as the 200 kilowatt IQ Solar Array project built in 2017 near Norwood, Colo.
“Telluride Sports support for Green Blocks also shows a commitment for more local renewables,” concluded Freeman.