When you love your hometown enough to stay there as an adult, you know it’s a special place. And that’s how Ryan Van Gundy feels about Summit County. The Summit High School alum spent 10 years away after graduation, but he came back for the community, access to the outdoors, and active lifestyle. Now, he and his wife Libby and kiddos Aiden and Emmie live at the base of Mount Royal, and life is, in Ryan’s words, “pretty awesome.”
When their family got bigger, Ryan and Libby needed to upgrade from the studio they’d been living in. They knew they wanted to stay in Frisco, which for them meant buying a home that would need a little extra work. In the Van Gundy’s case, “a little extra work” translated to “energy efficiency improvements.” At $300 a month, their gas bills were a lot higher than what you’d expect for a 1,200 square-foot house. Fortunately, they’re friends with local energy analyst Mark Anderson. After completing the energy assessment, Mark explained that all the warm indoor air Ryan and Libby paid good money to heat – it was just leaking out the roof.
Mark helped the couple prioritize which projects to start with. Through the retrofit process, they’ve learned that consulting with an energy analyst is just as important as talking to an architect or a contractor, especially if you want to maximize energy efficiency.
Ticking projects off the list, Ryan and Libby added so much insulation to their roof that they noticed an immediate difference. “You don’t feel like you’re sitting outside anymore,” said Libby. “And our bill is already under $100 a month – even with a snowy, cold May.”
Reflecting on the Energy Smart program as a whole, Ryan shared his perspective both as a homeowner and as a real estate agent: “As a realtor, energy efficiency makes sense on a lot of levels. It lowers your energy cost and makes your property more valuable in the future. And you’re going to help save the environment. Why are you not doing this? That’s really the question.”
“Once we became homeowners, it was really important to try to reduce our impact in an area we have control over. Saving energy is one way we can do that.” – Ryan & Libby Van Gundy
Energy improvements: Air-sealing + insulation
Upfront cost: $3,370
Final cost: $2,870
Annual savings: $539
Lifetime CO2 savings: 23.5 tons
Interested in improving the energy efficiency of your home? HC3’s Energy Smart Colorado program can help pay for your project.