September 2021

With cooler temperatures approaching, many of us are planning to spend more time indoors and thus thinking about the comfort of our homes. At New Energy Colorado, the parent organization of Solar CitiSuns, we have been busy organizing home tours that can help inspire you – the Chaffee County Green Homes Tour the second weekend of September and the 26th annual Metro Denver Green Homes Tour on October 2. You can find more information below and we hope to see you as we return to in-home visits of some of the region’s most sustainable homes. And the virtual tour of homes continues on our website.
We also hope to see you September 14 at the Equinox Party!
Meanwhile, work in Washington intensifies on climate policy and we provide some updates in this month’s newsletter.
Sunny regards,
Rebecca Cantwell 
Big Boost to Solar

The new Solar Futures Study, written by researchers from Golden’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, paints a very bright projection of solar energy growth, from the current 3 percent contribution to the nation's electricity supply. Without raising prices, solar can power 40 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2035, drive deep decarbonization of the grid and employ up to 1.5 million people, it finds. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm calls solar “our cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy’’ and calls for a rapid increase in deployment. The U.S. installed about 15 GW of solar last year and needs to double that every year to 2035 and then increase to 60 GW per year to reach the potential.
New tools, such as storage and advanced inverters, along with transmission expansion, will help move solar energy to all parts of America, the report says. 
But to achieve the potential, policy changes are needed to limit carbon emissions and provide clean energy incentives. 

Help Make Local Solar Smoother

The Solar Futures Study study looks at rooftop or distributed solar energy in addition to large-scale or utility solar. It projects up to 200 GW of rooftop PV by 2050 (about 15% of total solar deployment needed.)
The ratio will depend in part on policies designed to adopt rooftop solar.
One of the new tools announced recently by the Department of Energy aims to make local permitting faster and easier. The automated solar software, known as SolarAPP+ was developed by NREL and targets the high costs of cumbersome local processes in approving rooftop solar.
The software reviews solar applications for building code compliance and instantly approves permits that meet the right specifications so it is easier and faster for local governments to approve permits. It also generates a standardized inspection checklist for installers and inspectors to use to verify compliance in the field.
Granholm has challenged 125 communities to commit to adopting Solar APP+ by the end of September.
You can learn more by emailing the Colorado Solar and Storage Association at and voice your support of this new tool to your local government.
"Build Back Better'' Budget Debate Underway
Congress this month is expected to start debating the “Build Back Better Budget’’ and a variety of provisions that seek to start to slow the impacts of climate change are under discussion. They include:
-Extension and expansion of tax benefits to boost clean energy, which have proven very effective in the past.
-A plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants 80% by 2030 and reward utilities for investing in clean energy while penalizing those that stick with polluting fossil fuels
-Charging stations, EV infrastructure and tax credits to boost manufacturing of electric vehicles
-Rebates for consumers who convert to electric appliances
-Retrofitting affordable public housing and public schools to be energy efficient
-Delivering 40% of the benefits from these investments to those who have been most harmed by pollution
-Establishing a Civilian Climate Corps that would put up to 500,000 people to work on climate resilience
- Repeal tax breaks benefiting fossil fuel companies of roughly $15 billion a year.

If you have not shared your thoughts about the importance of climate action this fall, now would be a good time to contact your members of Congress! 
Join Us to Celebrate our Success
September 14 6-8:30 p.m.
On a private RiNo Terrace

Meet up with friends old and new and help us raise money for New Energy Colorado, a close partner of COSSA.

We care about everyone's health and expect you to be vaccinated.
In-Person Metro Denver Home Tour Returns October 2nd!
We are delighted to invite you to visit some of the most energy and water- wise homes in metro Denver on Saturday October 2.

A dozen homes will be open for visitors showcasing technologies including solar electricity from PV panels, solar heat from thermal panels, air source and ground source heat pumps, smart ways to use and save water, and state-of-the-art efficiency measures.

Registration is now open - please let us know that you plan to join us by registering here
Want to volunteer on October 2?
Please contact 

In the meantime, you can learn how to save money on your energy and water bills by visiting the 16 locations on the virtual Metro Denver Green Homes Tour.

Join Our Community and Take Action!
Solar CitiSuns are people who want to join together to help transform the energy landscape by advocating for solar energy and other clean energy sources for the future. It is free, quick and easy to sign up! By joining our community, you can keep informed and join others in taking action.

Please follow our Facebook Page, and share this email with your friends and colleagues, and on social media using the links below. We are stronger together!
Other Upcoming Events

Metro Denver CRES: Sept. 21  7 pm 
Annual Policy Night

Metro Denver Green Home Tour Lecture: Wed. September 22, 7-8 pm
Gardening for Birds, Kate Hogan, Denver Audubon
American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th St, Golden, CO 80401, Conference Room A

Northern Colorado CRES: Tue. Sept. 28 7 pm 
Clean Energy Education

Metro Denver Green Home Tour Lecture: Thursday, September 30, 7-8 pm
Natural Nights, Rick Angell and Linda Kahananui, Colorado Chapter, International Dark-Sky Association
Where: Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W 32nd Ave, Golden, CO 80401

Electric Vehicle Fair October 3 11-3 p.m.
Boulder County Fairgrounds

Three Stories We Think You'll Want to Read

Energy Tips: From Cheap to Steep
Windows pass heat and cold like holes in your walls. Both the glass and the frame conduct heat in both summer and winter. Slow down that conduction as much as possible to stay comfortable.
1) Bubble wrap across the window and frame
2) Stretchy Shrink Window Kit
3) Plexiglass that is custom cut per your dimensions at a home improvement store, and using magnetic tape at the edges to attach it to glued metal bars on the wall
4) Storm windows added to existing windows
5) Replacing the whole window. The best windows are rated with the
lowest U-Value.