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Vernon Nelson


I was born in Farmington, NM and have lived in Colorado for the past 30 years. My hobbies include fishing, photography, gardening, cooking, motorcycles, and all things out of doors. I have always loved being close to Mother Nature, and became passionate about energy conservation in the 1970’s while working in the natural gas industry in Western Colorado.

My passion for energy conservation deepened during my years in the residential home construction business and my exposure to Energy Star Rated homes. Our EnergyWise team of experts share my passion for high performance homes and businesses. We strive to improve the occupant’s comfort and quality of life and continue reducing the consumption of our natural resources.

Contact Vernon at


GRADY HARPER     Energy Ratings and Audits


Grady grew up in Western Colorado and graduated with a Bachelors in Chemistry from Fort Lewis College in Durango.  In 2010, Grady joined EnergyWise as a BPI Building Analyst.  Since then he has performed audits or ratings for over 150 buildings.    Recently certified to rate ENERGY STAR® Version 3 homes, Grady looks forward to helping builders and homeowners construct the most efficient homes possible.  As an Xcel Energy 2012 partner, Grady is excited about the new software used for existing home energy evaluations.  The new software breaks down the cost benefit analysis for home energy upgrades allowing homeowners an opportunity to digest real numbers. When not geeking out with energy modeling software, Grady likes to mountain bike, ski, play Frisbee and pick n’ grin. 
Grady can be reached at or 970-769-4264.


KENNETH COWAN    Remodels, Retrofits and Bookkeeping

Mr. Cowan has over 40 years experience in the construction industry.  EnergyWise Consultants values his expertise in custom home and commercial building.  A long time resident of the Grand Valley, Mr. Cowan was introduced to ENERGY STAR construction in 2007 when EnergyWise founder Gary Tollefson rated a straw bale house for him.  Mr. Cowan joined the EnergyWise team in 2010. When Ken doesn’t have his tool belt on and is down from the scaffolding, he can be found up on the Grand Mesa fishing up a storm.
Ken can be reached at



Darin CareiBorn and raised in Southern New Jersey, Darin heard the call of the West in the late 70’s and moved to Grand Junction. While attending Mesa State College, Darin worked as an intern at the Energy Information Office. During this time he worked to publish the “Solar Directory” and organized the original “Solar Home Tours”.

The Energy Office later became Housing Resources of Western Colorado and Darin now proudly serves on its Board.
Darin holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, is a RESNET Certified National Energy Rater. Is a licensed Real Estate Professional and licensed General Contractor.

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Contact Darin at



Gary TollefsonGary has been working as an Energy Rater since 1995 on the Western Slope. As a graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, he received a BSCE.

After a career spent designing and building civil works, Gary began to explore the benefits of energy efficiency and how he might contribute. Looking for something to keep him relevant and driven by the challenge of using building science in new and existing buildings, he was soon involved with the Home Energy Rating program.

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Serving All of Western Colorado & Eastern Utah's Energy Conservation Needs

1111 S. 7th. Street  -  Grand Junction, CO 81501

Phone: (970) 242-9473   Fax: (970) 242-2229

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