Plants that Love the Heat: Landscaping in Colorado

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Colorado’s uniquely temperamental climate can make it hard to plan for spring and summer planting. The dry heat and abundant, intense sunshine of the summer months isn’t exactly ideal for many of our favorite warm-weather blooms, but that doesn’t mean your yard has to look barren this season. If you’re wondering what plants grow in Colorado, check out our list of climate-friendly plants to create your own summer oasis.

plants in colorado

Lavender

Not only is lavender a perfect way to add a pop of color to your landscape, but these blooms are also drought resistant and unbelievably easy to grow. Plus, they attract butterflies, which will only make your garden feel more idyllic.

Summer Vegetables

Your garden adds beauty to your home, but it can be functional too. As the weather gets warmer, consider heat-loving veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant to fill out your yard while providing food for your table.

Love Where You Live: Looking Through the Window of Opportunity

Monday, May 8th, 2017

When selling a home, cleaning your windows is an important step in the staging process. Sparkling clean windows will immediately brighten up any room and do more to take advantage of the natural light your home can offer. Even if you’re not looking to sell, you should still be sure to clean your windows regularly. This will keep your house looking fresh and inviting. With these window cleaning tips, your home will feel brighter in no time.

window cleaning

  1. Dust it Off

Even if your windows were cleaned recently, dust can quickly accumulate on shades and blinds. Start by wiping them off with a soft cloth, a duster, or the dusting brush on your vacuum to remove any excess dirt particles. To keep the dust from building up so quickly, you can also try spraying them with an antiseptic spray after cleaning.

  1. Use the Right Tools

Smart Phone for your Smart Home

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Technology has already become an integral part of our lives, and now it is entering the home. Homes today can be equipped with different monitoring and control systems to allow owners to close blinds, lower heat, lock doors and more from their mobile phones.

smartphone for the home

  1. Thermostat – It is easy to forget to turn the thermostat to a neutral setting when you are away at the office all day. Nest Learning Thermostat connects your thermostat to a computer, laptop or tablet for easy access. The system can sense when you are near or away from home and adjusts itself accordingly to save you money and energy. Eventually, it will remember your temperature habits and set a schedule to maintain a temperature schedule.

Expect Lower Heating Bills This Winter Season

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Natural gas prices nationwide are low, which means that XCEL’s customers in Colorado will be saving big on their heating bills.  In fact, XCEL recently confirmed that, for the second half of the current winter heating season, customers will see significantly lower bills.

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Natural gas bills for the average residential customer are expected to drop about 21 percent to $62.81 per month, compared to $79.97 for the first quarter of 2015.

 

Monthly electricity bills for the average residential customer are expected to drop about 5 percent, to $65.41 per month, compared to $68.74 for the current quarter.

 

Be sure to check out and follow us on Tumblr where we blog about these kinds of topics and others that affect our real estate market. Please call upon any of our knowledgeable brokers to assist you with your real estate needs.  You can email us at info@alarisproperties.com or call us at 303-526-7400.

Wind Generation Records

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Untitled design (7)Xcel is the nation’s largest utility wind power provider and has set new records for single-­day and one­-hour wind-­energy production in Colorado.

For the first time on October 2, wind generation supplied more than half of its Colorado customers’ energy, averaging 54 percent. Almost all of that wind energy was produced within Colorado.

Xcel also set a new Colorado record for wind generation over a one­hour period on October 2: 2,352 megawatt hours from 3 to 4 p.m., compared to the previous record of 2,203 megawatt hours on Dec. 23, 2014, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Weather records show sustained winds up to about 17 mph in both Denver and Boulder on the afternoon of Oct. 2. Plans are in motion to expand wind generation capacity by 20 percent within next year.

Have a question or want to see a blog on a particular topic, contact one of our brokers today. Also, please feel free to read about our committed team. We have a solid understanding of the impact of alternative energy and would be pleased to assist you in your next real estate transaction. Call our office today to speak with one of our knowledgeable brokers.

Solar Power Rankings

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Desert Array

According to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the United States solar power market passed the 20 gigawatts of capacity milestone during the second quarter of this year.

New installations of solar power during the second quarter nationwide totaled nearly 1,400 megawatts.

Overall, the U.S. installed 2.7 gigawatts of solar power panels during the first half of 2015, and is on track for a record-breaking 7.7 gigawatts of new capacity this year.

Colorado’s rankings for solar power are 9, 13, and 11:

  • 9th nationwide in terms of overall solar power capacity
  • 13th nationwide in terms of the amount of solar power capacity added in 2014, during which Colorado added 67 megawatts of solar power systems
  • 11th nationwide in terms of the amount of solar power added during the second quarter of 2015

Colorado’s Wind Power Rankings

Monday, October 19th, 2015

wind

According to new reports from the U.S. Department of Energy, Colorado ranks 7th nationally for wind-power generation capacity installed in 2014, and 10th for total wind power installed through last year.

Colorado had 261 megawatts of wind-driven energy production capacity installed last year, roughly the equivalent of the power needed to serve 69,600 typical homes.

As for the percentage of each state’s power generated by wind, Colorado ranks 8th, at 13.6 percent.

Also, a recent report from the American Wind Energy Association said that Colorado employs more than 6,000 workers in wind-power manufacturing, which is the third highest amount nationally.

Alaris is also committed to preserving the environment. We can help you market or buy properties with “green” features. The future is going to be full of alternative energy generation. Make sure you are on top of this topic when you are ready to buy or sell a home. Email us at info@alarisproperties.com if you have a question you would like us to answer. We are here to serve you.

Solar*Connect Shutdown

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Solar*Connect (XCEL’s solar power program that would have allowed customers to pay a premium on their monthly utility bills to support solar energy) has officially been shut down by Colorado utility regulators.

The utility planned to allow customers to buy blocks of solar power equal to a percentage of their monthly power usage, from 25 percent up to 100 percent, and XCEL planned to have 50 megawatts worth of solar power in the program if state regulators approved the plan.

XCEL has run a similar monthly premium program that supports wind power, called WindSource, since 1998. WindSource has 36,000 subscribers in Colorado who have purchased more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of power over the years.

However, the three members of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to deny XCEL’s application to start Solar*Connect. The commissioners said XCEL didn’t show its customers wanted the program and worried that it didn’t provide a level playing field with companies already working in the community solar power sector.

Solar Loan Market Exploding

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Solar panel installation

According to a new study by GTM (Greentech Media) Research, thousands of solar power panels were installed on home rooftops in 2014, but very few of them were owned by the homeowners.

About 72 percent of the 1.2 gigawatts worth of solar power panels installed on residential rooftops were owned by third parties, with homeowners paying for the panels or the power generated by the systems via leases or power-purchase agreements.

The remaining systems were owned by the homeowner who typically used loans to pay for the systems up front.

In fact, the residential market in the U.S. has grown in 15 of the last 16 quarters, largely due to third-party financing arrangements such as leases.

With third-parties picking up the tab for installing the systems, homeowners pay for the systems via a multi-year contract that’s a lease on the system itself or a power purchase agreement to buy the power the systems generate.

Solar Rewards Update

Monday, October 5th, 2015

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Xcel Energy is adding nearly 30 megawatts of solar power to its Colorado operations via its Solar*Rewards Community program.

These projects are larger, commercial-sized solar power projects that allow individual businesses, nonprofits or people to buy or lease a portion of the project and get credit for the solar power on their monthly utility bills. The projects are designed for companies or people who can’t put solar power on their own roofs, such as if they live in an apartment or lease their office space.

The new projects will be built in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Conejos, Douglas, Garfield, Jefferson, Logan and Summit counties.

Due to a recent change in the program, Xcel customers can sign up for the solar power gardens located in their county or an adjacent county. Previously, the project had to be located in the same county where the customer lived.