Bennet Invites Ignacio Business Owner to Testify before Agriculture Committee

Coloradans Share Their Views at "Growing Jobs in Rural America"? Hearing

Washington, DC—Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet invited a Coloradan to testify today before the Senate Agriculture Committee as part of a hearing titled, “Growing Jobs in Rural America.”

Zac Stewart of Ignacio, owner of Ambient LLC, a building performance company, testified on the lack of access to capital that would help him grow his business to meet the demand for energy efficiency repairs that Ambient provides.

“In metropolitan areas, there are large national home performance contractors that have the capital to offer financing to homeowners,” Stewart said. “In rural areas like southwest Colorado, we are made up of small home performance businesses that don’t have the ability to offer financing to customers. Financing options coupled with existing energy efficiency incentives is the piece that we in the rural areas are missing, and I believe this would propel many homeowners to move forward with repairs.” The rest of Stewart’s testimony is attached.

Also testifying before the Agriculture Committee was Paul Bony of Montrose, who serves as residential Market Developer for ClimateMaster, an Oklahoma-based manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps.

On the importance of Stewart and Bony’s testimony, Bennet said, “Bringing the voices of Coloradans to Congress is critical as we work to create jobs and grow our rural economies. Zac and Paul are on the front lines of this issue and know what will work to help boost our rural communities.”

Bennet’s Introductory Remarks are below

Thank you Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Lugar for holding this important hearing today and for giving me the opportunity to introduce two witnesses have traveled all the way here from Colorado.

First we’ll hear from Zac Stewart. Zac hails from Ignacio, Colorado in the beautiful Four Corners region of our state. Mr. Stewart is a native of nearby Durango, Colorado and is a graduate of Fort Lewis College. Mr. Stewart has been in the construction and energy efficiency field for 16 years. He has broad experience working on these issues in State Government agencies – both in Arizona’s Department of Commerce and the Governor of Colorado’s Energy Office. He has recently started his own building performance company, Ambient LLC, and I look forward to hearing about the work Ambient is doing.

Following Mr. Stewart the Committee will hear from Paul Bony who is the Residential Market Developer for a company called ClimateMaster. ClimateMaster is the world’s largest manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps, headquartered in Oklahoma City. However, while working for an Oklahoma company, I understand Mr. Bony has the distinct privilege of living in Montrose, CO; where he has worked on geothermal heat pump issues in several capacities over the years – including innovative financing efforts with the Delta/Montrose Electric Association, his local electric cooperative.

Mr. Bony’s energy efficiency and renewable energy market development efforts have earned the Association of Energy Services Professionals’ “Achievement in Energy Services” Award, the U.S. EPA’s Excellence in ENERGY STAR Outreach award, and recognition from the Alliance to Save Energy.

Mr. Stewart, Mr. Bony; welcome, and thank you Chairwoman Stabenow.