Colorado firms up for challenge to reduce energy use

An energy company and two Western Colorado mountain resorts are among the more than dozen Colorado firms that have enrolled in a program promoting reduced energy use at manufacturing facilities.

“These companies are strong partners in our work to make Colorado a world leader in energy efficiency and clean-tech innovations,” said Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter in launching the Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge.

“Reducing energy consumption isn’t just good for the environment, it also will help these companies stay competitive, create jobs, increase America’s energy security and strengthen Colorado’s new energy economy,” Ritter said.

A total of 13 companies enrolled as charter members of the Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge. The Governor’s Energy Office sponsors the program  through a competitive grant awarded by the Department of Energy.

The group includes Encana, an energy company with operations in Western Colorado, as well as Aspen Skiing Co. and Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The group also includes Amgen, Avago Technologies, Frito-Lay, MillerCoors, New Belgium Brewing Co., Roche Colorado Corp., Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, Rocky Mountain Metal Container, Sandoz and Woodward.

The voluntary program is open to companies with industrial facilities that consume more than $200,000 a year in energy costs. To join the program, companies agree to set a five-year goal of reducing energy use, reporting total energy consumption for the base year, and in following years demonstrating progress. By joining the program, a company receives free technical assistance to achieve its energy reduction goals.

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is leading and coordinating the program on behalf of the energy office. The Colorado State University Industrial Assessment Center will provide technical assistance, with additional technical support from ETC Group, an environmental engineering firm based in Salt Lake City.

“We compete in a global market and in order to excel, we must be efficient in everything we do,” said Steve Wolley, workplace services manager at Avago Technologies, a semi-conductor device manufacturer in Fort Collins.