DENVER - The power company wants to sell less of its product.
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, which includes La Plata Electric Association and Empire Electric Association, launched a new energy-efficiency campaign this week.
The centerpiece of the Together We Save campaign is a Web site that lets homeowners calculate their yearly energy savings from home upgrades. They range from the cheap upgrades, such as installing compact fluorescent light bulbs ($10 savings for each bulb), to major upgrades, such as installing an Energy Star furnace ($492 annual savings).
Some options are free, such as drawing the blinds during the summer ($35 savings) or turning the water heater down to 120 degrees (about $73 savings).
The campaign also will include TV, radio and print advertisements.
Touchstone is a national group of energy cooperatives that includes Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and its Colorado members. Touchstone's national campaign began Thursday with an event
in St. Louis and the release of the first ads encouraging energy efficiency.
"Energy efficiency is an important part of the services that Tri-State and our members provide to our rural consumer-owners, and the Touchstone Energy 'Together We Save' campaign will help us do that even more effectively," Tri-State General Manager Ken Anderson said in a news release.
Energy experts call efficiency the "low-hanging fruit" of the nation's energy challenges. Simple upgrades such as adding insulation are a much cheaper way to conserve fossil fuels than installing solar panels.
The state government offers help to some homeowners to install insulation through the Insulate Colorado program. The Governor's Energy Office anticipates Colorado will get at least $185 million over three years from the federal stimulus bill for energy upgrades. Some of the money will go to individual homeowners, and some will go to businesses and governments.