Guest Commentary Guest-commentary |
function androidOrIOS() {
const userAgent = navigator.userAgent;
const applink = document.getElementById(‘mobile-app-link’);
const whizDeepLink = ‘steamboattodaymobile://content?’;

if ( whizDeepLink != ” && /iPad|iPhone|iPod/i.test(userAgent) ) {
applink.href = whizDeepLink;
applink.innerHTML = ‘ View in mobile app’;
applink.title = ‘Whiz’;
else {
if (/android/i.test(userAgent)){
applink.href = ‘’;
applink.innerHTML = ‘ Open mobile app’;
applink.title = ‘Andriod’;
else if(/iPad|iPhone|iPod/i.test(userAgent)){
applink.href = ‘’;
applink.innerHTML = ‘ Open mobile app’;
applink.title = ‘iOS’;



The coldest temperature this winter at the new home of Joe Smyth and Kristen Taddonio was 17 below. They live in Fraser, the Colorado town that used to get far, far colder.
Still, that February night was cold enough to test the design and technologies employed in construction of the couple’s 1,176-square-foot house. They insulated carefully, of course, and have solar panels. Even after charging their electric car, their house produces more energy than it consumes.
An air-source heat pump was central to their mission in creating a net-zero home, one gutted of emissions from fossil fuels. It extracts heat from outside, even on chilly nights, to warm the interior.
The Mitsubishi model used at the Fraser house promises to deliver the necessary indoor heat even when outside temperatures dip to 13 below. To supplement the air-source heat pump should temperatures dive to 30 below, as was once common, the couple also installed electrical-resistance heating. It wasn’t needed.
Colorado needs many more air-source heat pumps — and fewer carbon emissions from buildings — to meet its mid-century decarbonization target goals of 90%.
Getting this right during housing construction costs less in the not-very-long term. Building permits for 48,200 housing units, both single-family and multi-family, were issued last year, according to the Colorado Business Economic Outlook. That’s like adding a new Greeley each year along with a few small towns.
Retrofitting our older buildings is laborious and expensive. I know, because my house was built in 1889. You don’t swap out buildings the way you would computers or cars.
Several bills working their way through the Colorado Legislature this spring would nudge Coloradans toward low- and no-carbon technologies. All cost more upfront, but save money, sometimes lots of it, over time, while reducing or eliminating emissions.
Carrots would be offered by SB22-0151 to those who purchase air- and ground-source heat pumps. Purchasers would be allowed income-tax exemptions of up to 10% of the purchase price.
Other provisions in the bill approved by the House Energy and Environment Committee offer tax incentives for energy storage and buildings materials with low levels of embodied carbon.
Christine Brinker, representing the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, testified that her family’s air-source heat pump paid for itself in six years because of lower energy costs. Air-source heat pumps help residents of Geos, a project in Arvada, to pay as little as $6 a month in energy costs.
“It is just more efficient to move heat than to create heat,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, a Democrat from Louisville and a bill supporter. “I think we can do some good here by amending that pay-off time curve just a little bit. That’s something that we need to do to facilitate our transition” from fossil fuels.
Air-source heat pumps can also move heat from inside buildings during summer, effectively becoming air conditioners. Even in Winter Park, real estate buyers expect air conditioning.
The second bill, HB-1362, would require towns, cities, and counties to adopt the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code before 2025. This latest code advances efficiency 8% to 9% compared to the 2018 iteration.
Natural gas will still be allowed, but air-source heat pumps more efficiently meet the 2021 code’s elevated standards.
The Colorado Municipal League objected to loss of local control. Two representatives of rural areas described it as onerous for small towns despite $3 million earmarked for training. Homebuilders argued that the advanced standards would make already expensive housing less affordable.
Howard Geller, representing the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, cited a study from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that found the latest code would indeed add $200 to the cost of an average mortgage in Colorado built to this latest code. Lower energy costs will more than recoup that extra cost, he said, even in the first year.
Rep. Tracey Bernett, a Democrat from Longmont whose district includes nearly half the 1,084 homes destroyed by the Marshall fire, said she sponsored the bill with full confidence it will help, not harm, her constituents.
These bills both moved from the House committee on strictly party-line votes, Democrats in support. A third bill, HB22-1381, has bipartisan sponsors — and bipartisan support. It would allocate $20 million for grants to further geothermal development by tapping the year-round heat of 55 degrees found 8 to 10 feet below the surface.
As with air-source heat pumps, sponsors said the market needs to be nudged to adopt technology that costs more upfront than installing natural gas infrastructure but pays off in the long term. “This is something we don’t do enough of,” said Rep. Hugh McKean, a Republican from Loveland, who is installing geothermal in a house he is constructing.
“I really like this bill,” said Perry Will, a Republican from New Castle, citing the experiences of family members with the technology at Rulison and elsewhere.
Allen Best publishes Big Pivots. See more at
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

The coldest temperature this winter at the new home of Joe Smyth and Kristen Taddonio was 17 below. They live in Fraser, the Colorado town that used to get far, far colder.

Join our team fulltime with benefits! Dispatch Supervisors and Bus Drivers. Call (970) 879- 3717 or go to for…

Are you looking to work a school schedule with excellent benefits opportunities? Check out our open positions at the Steamboat…

Road & BridgeOak Creek ShopEquipment Operator$22.11 – $25.24/hourDetails & Apply April 27th, 2022EOE

Outreach to Grand and Jackson County Medicaid clients and people with high health needs. Coordinate care for clients to support…

Be outside in nature all summer working with a fun, friendly like-minded crew. No experience needed-but must love plants! Looking…

Seeking: RN/LPN, CNA, Care Partner, Culinary – – – EOE

WE ARE LOOKING FORLaborers, Carpenters, and Foreman.Career opportunities in high end residential and commercial construction. HLCC offers full-time, year-round work…

JOIN OUR TEAM NOW HIRING SEASONAL POSITIONS Parks | Open Space | Trails Parks Maintenance Worker – $22.15 – $29.90…

Freedom, Empowerment, Fulfillment

Now Hiring CDL Drivers! 2022 Summer Season- $23/hr.- Up to 10% Bonus- CDL Training Offered- Free Adventure Trips- Seasonal- FT…

Were still hiring for a few more summer positions:Golf Course MaintenanceWaitstaffLine Cooks/ DishwashersHousekeepingGolf Locker Room AttendantView job postings and apply…

Horizons Specialized ServicesHorizons works in partnership with families and communities to expand opportunities for individuals with, or at risk of,…

Come join our amazing team! $18.00 – $25.00 per hour DOE. For complete job description and to apply online, visit:…

Now hiring!Landscape laborers, multiple positionsGreat pay, training, creative teamworkSteamboat and Oak Creek areasCall Otto or email: otto@ottoscapes.com970-819-2095

– Full or part-time available – Flexible hours – $25 per hour plus a $1000 end of season bonus

Central Electric is accepting applications for Foreman,Journeyman Electricians, Service Technicians, & Apprentices. $18 – $38 an hour DOE/Q and sign…

This is an excellent opportunity for a truck driver with a good driving record, good work ethic, outstanding customer service…

KP Landscapes Hiring Lead Gardner, Landscape Construction, Turf & Garden Maintenance Crew Team Members. Competitive Pay, Over Time, Matching IRA,…

Executive Director ApplicationFor over 20 years, Historic Routt County (HRC) has been the leader in protecting historic places and landscapes…

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS WINTER SPORTS CLUB POSITION OPENING Date posted: April 1, 2022Job title: Executive DirectorDepartment: SSWSC ExecutiveStarting date: Summer 2022Weekend…

Steamboat Springs was abuzz with activity Friday morning as snowplows swept the streets, residents shoveled sidewalks and driveways, and many headed to the slopes for the first Powder Day of the season.

Watch as Steamboat Pilot & Today announces the winners of the 2021 Best of the Boat.

With five trails, 20 acres and hundreds of eager smiles, Steamboat Resort opened on Saturday, Nov. 27.

Leaks at oil and gas drilling sites might be noticed from bubbles rising to the surface of rainwater puddles on the lip of a wellhead casing.
Real Estate
Place Legal Ad
Search Legal Ads
Contact Us
Become a Carrier
Special Sections
About Us
Submit an Obituary
Commercial Print Sales
E-edition archive
Cookie List
Do not sell my personal information
Aspen – Snowmass
Craig – Moffat County
Glenwood Springs – Rifle
Park City – Utah
Breckenridge – Summit County
Vail – Eagle County
Winter Park – Granby – Grand County
Printing Press Jobs
©2005 – 2022 Swift Communications, Inc.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.