Xcel wants to cut back energy efficiency goals in Colorado

Dive Brief:

  • Xcel Energy wants Colorado regulators to lower its requirement for the utility to achieve energy efficiency savings of 1.85% of its overall electric sales between 2015 and 2020. 
  • Xcel told the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that the requirement would increase rates for customers as the utility seeks to cover the costs of expanding its energy efficiency efforts. 
  • The utility currently invests $75 million in energy efficiency programs that result in savings equivalent to about 1.35% of its total sales. Hearings are set to continue Wednesday and Thursday.

Dive Insight:

Changing the requirements would have a negative knock-on effect on the state’s energy efficiency goals, which could save rate payers $600 million on their electricity bills, said environmental group Conservation Colorado.

Mark Brown, board president of the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition, which is in favor of the 1.85% target, dismissed Xcel’s claim that it had done all it can within current budget constraints. There are still many options open to the utility to improve energy efficiency and recoup income they would lose through increasing energy efficient lighting programs, he said.

No word, though, on what effects marijuana legalization could have on Xcel's efficiency programs.

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Filed Under: Efficiency & Demand Response Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: Larry Johnson