Harmony Cottages: Namasté Solar Partners with Habitat for Humanity

Harmony Cottages: Namasté Solar Partners with Habitat for Humanity in Fort Collins, CO

 

Namasté Solar is not business as usual. We’re an employee-owned B Corp that believes in using our business to create a positive impact in our communities. That is why Namasté Solar began a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in 2017 as a solar sponsor for the new Harmony Cottages community in Fort Collins, CO. Namasté will be donating up to $10,000 to the project each year, and our crews will be installing solar on each of the 48 new homes in this community. Solar will help make these homes even more affordable by lowering residents’ utility bills for years to come.

Additionally, Namasté Solar has organized two employee volunteer days at Harmony Cottages so far, logging over 170 volunteer hours. Our volunteers were put to work building a porch, painting the outside of homes, finishing siding work, and completing other projects.

“Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is super fun! It’s great to see tangible results after a day of volunteering and to be involved with projects that touch on different aspects of affordable housing,” said Emily Bedenkop, Namasté Solar’s volunteer coordinator. “Their utility bills will be reduced with solar, so it helps make these homes affordable in addition to being more sustainable.”

We’ve made it our business to be an engaged member of our communities, and our volunteer and sponsorship efforts are just one piece of that effort. Taylor Ryan, Namasté Solar’s Utility Coordinator was part of the volunteer crew at Harmony Cottages this spring. “Our charitable efforts are a vital part of why I love working here. I can proudly say I work at a company that strives to improve our surrounding communities and views volunteering as an obligation of a conscientious business,” she said. “I feel grateful to support the effort to make houses into a “home” for our neighbors in Colorado.”

As part of Namasté Solar’s mission to make solar easy and accessible, Namasté is taking it one step further by offering a discount to Habitat for Humanity residents, staff, and volunteers who want to install solar on their homes. Solar is a better way to power our lives, and we want more people to be able to access the cost savings benefits of solar.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers at Harmony Cottages in Fort Collins Harmony Cottages in Fort Collins with volunteers from Namasté Solar Harmony Cottages volunteers from Namasté Solar

Questions About Fort Collins Utilities’ New Time of Use Rate Structure?

Questions About Fort Collins Utilities’ New Time of Use Rate Structure?

 

Starting October 1st, 2018, Fort Collins Utilities will transition to a different rate structure than what they currently offer. Instead of paying the same amount of money for all of the energy that you use, you will now pay different rates of energy depending on what time of day you use that energy. This rate will be called the Time of Use rate. The amount you pay for your energy will change depending on the time of day, the day of the week and the season. Fort Collins Utilities is transitioning to this rate in order to charge customers what Fort Collins Utilities believes is the correct price of energy, as the cost to provide energy at different times of the day varies.

You can save money by moving your energy usage away from the hours of 2-7pm during weekdays, also known as the “peak” times. These rates change based on the seasons. Weekends and holidays have a lower rate of energy. Although we do not have enough data to say for sure, the Time of Use rate is normally a good thing for solar customers. Your solar system will be producing the most energy during the peak hours, so it can offset the more expensive energy that you may use during those peak hours. For this reason, we have heard from a number of our customers that they see their utility bills decrease on a Time of Use rate.

This helpful chart shows the rates that Fort Collins Utilities will be charging at different times of day, different days of the week, and different seasons.

Fort Collins Utilities Rate Structures

The Fort Collins Utilities website helps explain the rate a bit more, and the Utilities can be reached with questions about this change at 970.221.6700.

If you have questions for Namasté Solar, please reach out to Taylor Ryan, our Utility Coordinator; she can be reached at 303.447.0300 ext. 234, or at taylor.ryan@namastesolar.com.

 

Contact us or call 303.447.0300 to get a free home solar quote! Your free quote will include: a roof assessment, a customized system design, and a calculation of your savings and return on investment.

What Does It Mean to Work for a B Corp?

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What Does It Mean to Work for a B Corp?

 

Namasté Solar has a long history of doing business differently and working to build a company that is about more than just maximizing our profits. Even the name of our company, a Sanskrit word of greeting, was chosen because it recognizes the interdependence of all things. It should be no surprise then that Namasté Solar committed to becoming a Certified B Corporation in January 2011.

To become a B Corp, companies must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Unlike traditional corporations, B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, communities, consumers, and environment. You can consider B Corp to be the business equivalent of a Fair Trade certification or LEED certification; it’s proof that we are walking the walk.

What is it like to work for a B Corp? To celebrate B Corp Month, we gathered the answer to this question from a handful of the people of Namasté Solar so you can hear, in their own words, what it means to them to come to work at a place that is doing business differently.

 


 

To me there is so much value and motivation that comes from focusing on the triple bottom line because it means that not only are we working hard to ensure the financial health of our company, but that our collective hard work also greatly benefits the environment and our community. The more success we have on all three of these fronts, the more holistic reward I receive. The notion of carving out a career that has so many positive impacts including socially, environmentally, and financially, causes me to feely truly of proud of what it was we are doing here at Namasté Solar. – David Henry, Director of O&M Services

Our B Corp status reassures me that our co-op is focused on holistic practices that benefit many within our chain of supply, rather than driving our decisions based on profit margins. We put people over profits, and we’re committed to that being the right way to do business. – Alyssa Soares, DC Installer

When our country’s leaders aren’t leading, others must. Business is a powerful source of action in our culture. B Corps take this obligation seriously. While I am active as an independent citizen, joining with others who share my values is both energizing and adds a bit of a megaphone effect to my efforts. B Corps are uniquely positioned to affect change and provide leadership. I’m proud to be a part of one. – Rick Coen, Commercial System Designer

It’s incredibly rewarding to work for a company that consistently makes responsible business decisions based on long-term and holistic thinking. After years in traditional corporate jobs, I’m so grateful to be part of a business community that’s making a positive impact on our community at large and redefining what it means to be successful in business. – Shamera Sandoski, Operations & Maintenance Account Manager

Working for a B Corp means I’m working for something greater than myself – that my job benefits not just the financial bottom line but society and the environment as well. It is my opportunity to be the change I wish to see in the world and that makes me exceedingly proud to play a part. – Juan Blohm, PV Installer / Apprentice Electrician

The B Corp certification is the proof point. At Namasté Solar we like to “walk our talk,” and being a Benefit Corporation is a way to prove to ourselves and to the world we’re doing just that; we’re legally required to consider the impact of decisions on employees, suppliers, communities, consumers, and the environment. Being a B Corp pushes us to constantly improve (even beyond the recertification process). Plus, how could a co-op pass up a declaration of interdependence? – Emily Bedenkop, Marketing Coordinator

Working for a B Corp means that I get to work for a company that aligns with my personal mission to promote positive social and environmental change within the organization, community, and world. – Rachel Mountain, Inside Commercial Sales Coordinator

It means I get to work at something I believe in all the time instead of after work. It means caring for each other, doing what is right, improving quality of life for all. It means I can join with many having shared values, goals, vision to better the world. It means becoming one by way of being the many, a movement that is looking beyond oneself but rather looking towards the whole, the now, the future, putting forth the energy to become a game changer for the better. It means my beliefs have impact. – Jane Allo, Operations & Maintenance Service Coordinator

Learn more about what a B Corp is or see Namasté Solar’s score.

 

Contact us or call 303.447.0300 to get a free home solar quote! Your free quote will include: a roof assessment, a customized system design, and a calculation of your savings and return on investment.

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How the New Tax Bill Improves the Financial Performance of Commercial Solar PV

How the New Tax Bill Improves the Financial Performance of Commercial Solar PV

 

The final draft of the new tax bill delivered some unexpected benefits to the solar industry and to commercial entities interested in going solar. The tax bill changes the risk and rewards calculations involved in commercial solar energy and moves the needle further into the reward territory. The two provisions at play are the reduced corporate tax rate and the changes to depreciation allowances that greatly increase the potential value of solar PV projects. These tax changes are great news for anyone who has been on the fence about investing in a commercial solar project and will make many more projects financially feasible.

Reduced Corporate Tax Rate

The first provision in the new tax bill that makes solar PV more profitable is the reduced corporate tax rate. When commercial entities add solar PV systems, the immediate impact is a reduced utility bill. Less money going out to cover operating expenses means more profits, and these profits are a tax liability. Under the new tax plan, the federal corporate tax rate has been reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent. This reduced tax rate now makes your solar profits more profitable.

Bonus Depreciation

The second provision in the new tax bill that will give commercial solar a boost are the revised depreciation allowances. Depreciation is a deduction that allows corporations to reduce their taxable profits by claiming wear and tear of certain assets, like solar PV systems. In the past, tax law allowed corporations a 50% bonus depreciation of a new asset’s value during the first year and the remaining value over five and a half years. Under the new tax bill, 100% of an asset’s value can be deducted as depreciation in the first year.

As depreciation is calculated as an expense, it lowers the company’s net profit that must be reported and taxed. The tax bill will allow the full cost of equipment to be written off immediately rather than depreciated over time. Most companies like the idea of lowering their tax liability as quickly as they can as this means keeping more of the money that was earned.

More Solar Rewards

The effects of these two provisions will dramatically change the cost and benefit analysis of these projects. Commercial solar PV projects will see higher return on investments (ROI), increase net present values (NPV), and shorter payback periods.

To see the effects the tax bill will have on ROI and NPV, take a look at Greentech Media’s analysis. They look at a 366-kilowatt commercial solar project in California and estimate the economic benefits of reducing tax rates and doubling the bonus depreciation. In this specific example, they see ROI increase by 6.7% and NPV increase by 27%.

Here’s another sample project. Below is the financial analysis for a 1,342.32 kW (DC) solar PV project for a manufacturing facility. This is a ballasted roof-mounted array priced at $2,769,000 or $2.06/w. All financial indicators show an attractive bump as a result of the reduced corporate tax rate and the higher bonus depreciation.

If you’re a business owner considering solar, these examples show the dramatic impact of the new tax bill on commercial solar PV projects and how your investment in solar energy will pay for itself in a shorter amount of time. Take advantage of these unexpected benefits of the new tax bill and find out how much your business could earn with clean solar energy.

 

Want to learn about your home’s solar potential? Contact us or call 303.447.0300 to get a free quote!

The Solar Panel Tariff: Our View on the Impacts

The Solar Panel Tariff: Our View on the Impacts

 

On January 22nd, President Trump announced a 30% solar panel tariff on imported solar panels. See the details of the decision here. What does this mean for the solar industry, for Namasté Solar, and, most importantly, for solar customers?

Solar Tariff Impact on the Solar Industry

This is by no means good news if you support the shift to clean energy. It will slow progress and the growth of the solar industry. However, because solar still offers very attractive economics for customers, progress will continue – even if at a slower pace.

It is important to note that the solar tariff is only on the price of solar panels. The whole cost of going solar isn’t going up, only the cost of panels. Because of this, the tariff will disproportionately impact large utility-scale solar projects because solar panels are a bigger percentage of the overall cost of those projects. Prices for homeowners and commercial property owners will be impacted much less because solar panels make up a smaller percentage of the total cost for those smaller projects.

Impact on Namasté Solar

This trade case has been pending for many months, and Namasté Solar took that time to plan ahead and prepare. Our forecasts were based on a 30% solar panel tariff, so we prepared for and took action based on this scenario. The solar panel tariff is not the decision we wanted, but we were ready nonetheless.

We have been in business since 2005 and have seen many ups and downs in the solar industry during that time. This storm, like others before it, will pass. We are confident that the growth of solar will continue, and Namasté Solar will continue to be a part of that growth. Long-term thinking is one of the core values of our company, and we remain committed to making solar energy easy and accessible.

Impact on Residential Customers

The economics of solar energy have made it a good financial investment for many years now, and though this tariff is a setback, solar remains a fantastic deal for many homeowners. The 30% federal tax credit is still in place, solar still insulates you from rising utility costs, and solar panels still pay for themselves over time. These factors haven’t changed.

The impact of the solar panel tariff on homeowners is minimized in part because we planned ahead for this outcome. Namasté took steps to procure additional solar panels in advance of the tariff and wrote our business plans for the coming year with the tariff in mind. In the past, we have weathered pricing pressures from utilities, reductions in rebates, and other challenges. This is just one more challenge that we are ready to face while still offering clean solar savings to our customers.

Impact on Commercial Customers

The solar tariff will have the most impact on our commercial customers with large installations, but they will also see additional savings from the new tax bill. The tax bill delivered some unexpected benefits in the form of the reduced corporate tax rate and the changes to allow 100% of an asset’s value to be depreciated in the first year. Both will have a significant positive impact on the financial feasibility of commercial solar projects. Because of these tax changes, commercial solar energy will pay for itself in a shorter amount of time, see higher return on investment, and see increased net present values. Read Greentech Media’s assessment of the economic impacts the tax bill will have on commercial solar projects.

The Bottom Line

The movement to clean solar may be slowed by this solar panel tariff, but it will not be stopped. Solar still offers significant cost savings for homeowners and commercial property owners alike and will continue to grow as source of clean, independent energy for our country. It’s one more challenge to face, but Namasté Solar and the solar industry are both here to stay.

 

Considering making the switch to solar here in Colorado? Contact us or call 303.447.0300 to get a free quote!

Namasté Solar Raises Over $3.1 Million in Unconventional Stock Offering

Namasté Solar Raises Over $3.1 Million in Unconventional Stock Offering

 

Namasté Solar has concluded its second successful private offering, raising over $3.1 million from over 91 investors. The company’s private offering, which officially closed at the end of 2016, sought financing primarily for working capital, the national expansion of the company’s commercial and utility-scale solar energy division, and new initiatives such as a clean energy credit union.

Unlike traditional stock offerings, as an employee-owned cooperative, Namasté Solar provides a class of non-voting preferred stock to external investors with an annual 6.5% target dividend, which is non-cumulative and non-guaranteed.

“Since Namasté Solar was founded in 2004, we’ve needed a lot of capital in order to fund our rapid growth, which has been at a 50% compound annual growth rate during our 12-year history. In our first several years, all of our money came from our employee-owners investing in the company, but we started to reach limitations,” said Blake Jones, Co-Founder of Namasté Solar.

“As an employee-owned cooperative, we had always thought that we wouldn’t be able to raise money from outside of the company. We were concerned that we couldn’t find values-aligned investors who wanted to support our cooperative model, but we’ve since learned that this isn’t the case,” said Jones.

Raising outside capital can be a challenge for any small or medium business. Traditional private investors demand high returns in a short timeframe, pushing most entrepreneurs to build the business fast and flip it within a few years. In addition to imposing liquidity pressure, venture capital and private equity firms generally demand direct control through stock ownership and seats on the company’s board.

But as an employee-owned cooperative, only employees of Namasté Solar can vote for the board, and they hold the majority of board seats. Because Namasté Solar does not plan to sell, the company sought financing from long-term investors who valued employee-ownership and environmental stewardship over fast returns.

A growing number of entrepreneurs are starting companies with the intention of creating a financial return while also having a positive impact on society and the environment. Such entrepreneurs are seeking capital from the growing “impact investing” movement in which investors look for both financial returns and positive impacts on other stakeholders.

“Impact investing is not just about trying to make as much money as you possibly can and accepting the collateral damage that happens to the environment, to our communities, to society. Instead, we can use business as a force for good,” said Jones. “More and more people want to invest in a way that’s aligned with their values. If more people realized there were more opportunities to invest in companies that are locally based, employee-owned, B-Corp certified, and not just the usual investments in Wall Street, I think they would do it.”

“And that’s exactly what we’ve seen during our two private offerings,” Jones said. “There is a tremendous opportunity to make positive impacts on our economy, society, and environment while still working within the framework of capitalism.”

“We saw the positive examples being set by other cooperatives that raised capital, like Equal Exchange, an employee-owned cooperative in Massachusetts, and Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative based in Wisconsin, and this gave us the confidence to conduct our first private offering in 2012. We were thrilled by how many investors were looking for exactly the kind of investment opportunity that Namasté Solar represented,” said Jones.

“After raising almost $750,000 in 2012, it boosted our confidence that it was possible to tap into a different, values-aligned source of capital to fund our ongoing growth needs in a way that doesn’t compromise the way we do business,” Jones said. “This helped set the stage for our second private offering, which helped us raise over $3 million.”

Giving Back to Our Community

Giving Back to Our Community

 

Namasté Solar loves to walk its talk. Put its money (and time) where its mouth is. Practice what it preaches. Whatever idiom you choose, the end result is the same: Namasté Solar prioritizes community in working to value and balance all stakeholders. This translates into paid employee volunteer time and a Community Giving program that donates to local organizations and events.

One volunteer day is organized per quarter, though Namastaliens can also get reimbursed for up to 10 hours every month for self-scheduled volunteering. Both on their own and through the company, Namasté Solar employees volunteer with a wide range of organizations.

In 2016, Namasté Solar worked with Community Food Share in Louisville and Boulder’s Growing Gardens. We also participated in a Rock the Earth challenge hosted by Denver public schools, and a spring river sweep organized by the Denver-based Greenway Foundation. This added up to a total of 118 volunteer hours by 24 employees.

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This year, we’ve set our sights even higher. So far in 2017, we’ve had one volunteer day, a fun-filled afternoon of sorting and packing food for distribution by the Food Bank of the Rockies, attended by 18 Namastaliens. This translated to over 73 volunteer hours, but even more important was the impact that afternoon had outside of Namasté Solar: our volunteers were able to process over 11,300 pounds of food, equal to 9,040 meals for those in need.

And that was just the first quarter – we’re only getting started!

Namasté Solar’s Office Dogs

Namasté Solar’s Office Dogs

 

Everyone’s favorite holistic compensation at Namasté Solar is the dogs that come to the Boulder and Denver offices everyday. “There’s always been dogs here,” said Teri Lema, Namasté Solar’s Human Resources Specialist, who has been with the company since 2006. Shortly after getting married, co-founder Blake Jones bought a puppy, and (after getting it peer-reviewed, in true Namasté Solar democratic-management style) started bringing her to work.

Soon others followed suit, and “puppy dogs would just wrestle and play” in the hallways, said Lema. “There were no rules, though sometimes one of them would have to be in time-out in the dog kennel in the warehouse. It was kind of a free-for-all, but we really just liked the concept of coming to work with your dog.”

“Now we look back and know that was not okay,” said Lema. “Nobody was getting hurt, but [dogs] get used to doing what they want, and that isn’t appropriate here, sort of like, save that for the park.”

Once Namasté Solar moved its Boulder office to Broadway Street, a brand-new space with new carpets and furniture, a committee was founded to determine policies for keeping the building clean. The committee decided to subject dogs to a “Canine Good Citizen” test administered by Lema, which tested for things like separation anxiety, getting along with other dogs, and the possibility of barking at a stranger (like a potential customer) in the office. Those who knew their dogs wouldn’t pass simply stopped bringing them to the office, minimizing the number of poorly behaved dogs.

The Canine Good Citizen test is no longer required for introducing new dogs because people have done so responsibly, only bringing in their dog if they know it won’t cause problems. Changing locations when we did and implementing new policies at that time, Lema said, helped reduce the sense of “‘anyone can bring their dog’ entitlement, and now we have a nine-year precedent of dogs behaving in this office.”

Having dogs in the office hasn’t always been easy. There was the time that Jones’ puppy (aptly named Sunny) had eaten three tube socks, and vomited all over the company’s first office on Spruce Street. In the new Broadway Street location, an outdoor kennel (that has since been replaced with parking spaces for the rapidly expanding office) once blew open during a Big Picture Meeting, sending dogs (and their owners after them) across the busy street.

But for the most part, having dogs around everyday is something Namastaliens appreciate. “Everybody that I chat with, even applicants, really love the aspect of working with animals,” said Lema. “It makes my life coming into the office really special, and it’s one of the things I cherish about being here.”

The dogs that are most frequently in the Boulder and Denver offices are profiled below. A huge thank you to their humans for bringing them in, and for helping fill out the details of their profiles.


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Dog name: Theodore

Age: 2.5 years – a young pup in his prime!

Human companion: Katie Buchanan, Accounting Clerk (Boulder office)

How long has he been coming to work with you? Just a couple months.

How often does he come to work with you? Once in a blue moon.

Have you always brought him to work? No – he’s hyper and protective so I wanted to slowly introduce him to the environment and other dogs. It seems to be going well!

Funny story about him? Theodore’s full name is Theodore Ice Water, which is one of aliases of Ghostface Killah (of WuTang Clan).

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? Getting to be with him!

What’s his favorite thing about coming to work? Getting to be with me! (Duh.)

Do you wish other animals could be in the office, too? My human daughter, Callia.

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Dog name: Rex-a-million Kettler

Age: 10 years

Human companion: Hannah Hamontree, Marketing & Communications Director (Boulder office)

How long has he been coming to work with you? Rex has been employed at Namasté Solar since 2014.

How often does he come to work with you? Every day.

Have you always brought him to work? Yes. Rex is a very social guy, he loves being a part of everyone’s day-to-day saying hi, stealing a sun patch to sleep in, greeting visitors, playing with anyone who is willing…he truly loves coming to work each day.

Funny story about him? Rex was a giant-headed puppy dog, and his head was so heavy that he would often tip forward and fall on his face due to the size of his giant head on his little body.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? How happy he is and how happy he makes others.

What’s his favorite thing about coming to work? Like all of us here at Namasté Solar, Rex comes to work every day because of the people.

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Dog name: Deena

Age: 8.5 years

Human companion: Sam Mason, Commercial Technical Designer (Boulder office)

How long has she been coming to work with you? 5 years.

How often does she come to work with you? Every day.

Have you always brought her to work? Yes, I asked during my interview process to make sure there was a dog policy.

Funny story about her? Deena was the last companion of an old woman I never met named Donna, who lived in upstate NY. When Donna was taken into hospice care, her daughter enlisted the help of a group of friends to help take care of Deena, who was then essentially couch surfing between three houses. Every week for about a year and a half, she would do overnight visits with Donna and come home frenetic, spoiled, and groomed – sometimes with a pink tail. After Donna passed Deena was ours, and has traveled just about everywhere with me since: MA, VT, all over NY, and finally to CO.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? Deena reminds me to go out and play.

What’s her favorite thing about coming to work? Treat time with the Finance Team, hug time with Teri, and pretending to protect me from Rex.

Do you wish other animals could be in the office, too? Other dogs, yes!

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Dog name: Casper

Age: 6 years

Human companion: Jason Brown, IT Coordinator (Boulder office)

How long has he been coming to work with you? Just 2 weeks.

How often does he come to work with you? Once a week.

Have you always brought him to work? I did bring my previous dog in a few times, but she was only happy if she was on my lap.

Funny story about him? We went to an adoption event for a different dachshund, but happened to meet Casper and walked him around while looking for the other dog. Casper was super chill and the other dog was incredible clingy and needy, so we decided the chill dude was going to be a better match.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? Knowing that he’s happy and not alone for the day.

What’s his favorite thing about coming to work? Sitting on my lap.

Do you wish other animals could be in the office, too? Yes.

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Dog name: Colby

Age: 3 years

Human companion: Taz Romine-Mann, Fleet & Facilities Coordinator (Denver office)

How long has she been coming to work with you? 1 year.

How often does she come to work with you? 2-3 days a week.

Have you always brought her to work? I have brought her since I started working for Namasté Solar. I love having her in the office and she loves being here with everyone.

Funny story about her? Colby is a lab/border collie mix. She once “herded” a deer to me on a walk in the woods. She ran off and after about 10 minutes, I heard this crashing that I thought was her coming back. But then a deer walked out of the woods, looking very harried and confused, and Colby a couple steps behind, looking very proud of herself.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? Everything.

What’s her favorite thing about coming to work? All the treats and attention!

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Dog name: Camo

Age: 2.5 years

Human companion: Joe Montoya, Residential Sales Director (Denver office)

How long has he been coming to work with you? Half a year.

How often does he come to work with you? Once in a blue moon.

Have you always brought him to work? I used to bring my old dog into the office quite often. Camo, because he is a rescue, he is still learning proper office etiquette.

Funny story about him? We adopted Camo after he made his home under our deck at our remote cabin this past summer. Once we realized he did not have an actual home, we decided to bring him to Denver and see if he would adapt to the city life. So far, he is loving life and as excited as ever.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? Having a pal who gets others perked up is nice – Camo seems to get people excited.

What’s his favorite thing about coming to work? The answer is everything: endless belly rubs, occasional fetch, treats, and attention.

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Dog name: Jack (short for Jumping Jack Flash)

Age: Not sure, he was a rescue. 7?

Human companion: Jason Sharpe, General Manager (Denver office)

How long has he been coming to work with you? 4 years.

How often does he come to work with you? Once in a blue moon.

Have you always brought him to work? Yes, but rarely.

Funny story about him? I love to ride my 1954 beach cruiser bicycle to work, and Jack likes to sit in the wicker basket on the handle bars. He also loves to cuddle in bed, especially in the morning.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? He joins me in many meetings and likes to sit on my lap, or other people’s if I’m facilitating the meeting. It helps me and the group relax to have him cuddled on a lap.

What’s his favorite thing about coming to work? He loves to run around and say hi to everyone. I think he just likes being included.

Do you wish other animals could be in the office, too? Yes.

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Dog name: Ray (Radar, Rayban, Raymond, Ray Snarls, LL Cool Ray, Sweet Baby Ray, etc.)

Age: 1 and a half

Human companion: Sam Forney, Warehouse Coordinator (Denver office)

How long has he been coming to work with you? Since he was adopted last March!

How often does he come to work with you? Once a week.

Have you always brought him to work? I try to bring him as much as I can, but since he is white and warehouses are inevitably dirty, it always shows up on his coat!

Funny story about him? Ray is a funny little guy. He cracks me up on a daily basis. If there is one thing that makes me laugh the most, it’s how excited he gets when he sees a bug. I still haven’t figured out if he thinks they are tiny dogs or if he just wants to eat them, but he starts wagging his tail and jumping around whenever he spots one.

What’s your favorite thing about having your dog come to work? He is always so excited to see EVERYONE so he puts you in a good mood. The installers love seeing him in the mornings and always ask where he is.

What’s his favorite thing about coming to work? Once the installers leave for the day, he gets to run around the warehouse while I work. Most of the day, I’ll have him tied to his leash and he can go outside and watch over the neighborhood. Ray protects the warehouse! Watch out, skateboarders – he does NOT like you!

Do you wish other animals could be in the office, too? Yes.

Loveland Completes 3.5 Megawatt Solar Project Replacing Century-old Hydroelectric Facility

Loveland Completes 3.5 Megawatt Solar Project Replacing Century-old Hydroelectric Facility

 

The City of Loveland today announced the completion of a 3.5 megawatt solar project, built to replace the Idylewilde Dam, which was damaged in the 2013 Colorado Front Range Flood. The solar project is the first electric generating facility in the United States to receive approval through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Alternate Project process.

In 2015, Loveland was awarded approximately $9 million in funding to construct the Foothills Solar and Substation project, with $5.1 million used to construct the solar array. The remaining funds are being used to construct an electric substation on the site, built in conjunction with the Platte River Power Authority. The full scope of the project, including the substation, is expected to reach completion in the spring of 2017. The solar facility is currently operational.

Namasté Solar designed and constructed the solar array, its largest project in Colorado to date. Namasté Solar is a leading designer, installer, and developer of solar photovoltaic systems.

“The City of Loveland has demonstrated true leadership with this project to replace and upgrade its portfolio of cost-effective and clean renewable energy for Loveland ratepayers,” said Dave Vorlage, CEO at Namasté Solar. “The City’s decision to upgrade to solar more than triples the power output of the former Idylwilde Dam. All of our employee-owners at Namaste Solar are proud of the project and thrilled to partner with the City of Loveland.”

The 3.5 megawatt solar project replaces the 900 kilowatt generation capacity of the now dismantled dam. The project was designed to utilize solar tracking technology, provided by Array Technologies of Albuquerque. The solar modules move on a single axis throughout the day, tracking the movement of the sun across the horizon to maximize power output. The system, consisting of 10,332 solar modules, is expected to produce 6,813 megawatt hour of clean electricity annually, enough to power the equivalent of 574 Colorado homes.

“This project demonstrates a creative way to replace and keep a renewable energy resource local while providing benefits to the City beyond energy generation,” said Gretchen Stanford, Acting Director for Loveland Water and Power and Project Manager for the Foothills Solar and Substation project. “This facility will help Loveland Water and Power exceed its renewable energy requirements from the State, delay future capital expenditures, and can even be used for solar education in the community.”

Throughout the project Loveland Power and Water, the city’s municipal electric utility, produced monthly video updates that can be viewed at cityofloveland.org/foothills.

Additional images of the project can be found in Namasté Solar’s Project Portfolio.

About Loveland Water and Power

Loveland Water and Power is a municipally owned utility providing Loveland customers power, water and wastewater utility needs. For more information about Loveland Water and Power, visit cityofloveland.org/LWP.

Historic Colorado Trade Center Goes Solar

Historic Colorado Trade Center Goes Solar

 

Conscience Bay Company (CBC) today announced the completion of a 316 kW solar array on the historic Colorado Trade Center at 5151 Bannock Street near the intersection of I-25 and I-70. The 700,000 square foot industrial warehouse was originally built in 1922 for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.Construction of the Trade Center was completed December 5, 1923, ninety-three years to the day prior to completion of the solar system. It has been home to such notable tenants as MillerCoors, Nestle Purina, and Safeway. Current tenants include FreshPack Produce, Frozen Food Express, FreshPoint, Condit Exhibits, and Colorado Doorways. In the photos above, the Colorado Trade Center is shown in 1930 on the left and in 2017 on the right.

Namasté Solar designed and constructed the Colorado Trade Center solar array, which will generate roughly 470 megawatt-hours per year, supplying the tenants with green energy.

“This was a unique and exciting project for us, juxtaposing state of the art technology on a building with such a rich history,” said Ben Griffin, Co-Owner and Project Development Manager at Namasté Solar. “Our designers and installers stepped up to the challenge incorporating three solar arrays on a sixty-foot high roof with over 4,500 feet of conduit. Our goal was to make the most efficient use of space, while preserving the historic integrity of the building. We would like to thank and congratulate Conscience Bay Company for their dedication to renewables and their critical role in making this project a success.”

With this installation, CBC has installed over 400 kW of solar panels on its properties, which produce an estimated 487,250 kWh of electricity annually. The clean energy production provided from these solar panels alone is enough to power 36 homes for one year. Simultaneously, energy efficiency investments in their properties to date have yielded an average of 13% reduction of energy cost savings for their tenants and reduced their energy consumption by 15%; equivalent to the annual GHG emissions of more than 60 passenger vehicles. Future plans to implement energy efficiency strategies on CBC properties continue to reduce the cost of operations for their tenants and impact on the environment.

Conscience Bay Company purchased the iconic building in 2015 and set out to modernize the building’s energy management system with solar. The project is part of the company’s mission to cut carbon emissions and resource use in the commercial sector.

“Part of our value creation strategy is reducing consumption of natural resources. We make investments in our properties that are both good for the environment and earn a return for our investors,” said Ben Woolf, Director of Commercial Investments at Conscience Bay Company.

About Conscience Bay Company

Conscience Bay Company, a certified B Corporation®, is a private equity firm that invests in agricultural land, water resources, and commercial real estate. We equate property ownership with responsibility, and produce profits while practicing good stewardship. For more information, please visit cbayco.com.

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