DENVER - Xcel Energy has filed a
request with state utility regulators asking it to be allowed to
exclude Boulder customers from certain renewable energy and demand side
management programs unless the city guarantees it will assume the
programs’ costs if the city forms a new municipal utility.
The news came in the form of a press release the utility shared with the media last Friday.
According to Colorado’s largest utility, the purpose of the filing is
to keep customers from subsidizing Boulder residents if the city
condemns the grid from Xcel Energy.
The request to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, would affect
the Windsource, SolarRewards Community and the SolarRewards programs as
well as demand-side management energy efficiency programs. The changes
will not be instituted until the PUC approves them.
"We have always been proud to offer energy efficiency programs
through Demand Side Management to our customers, as well as other
renewable energy programs such as Solar Rewards and Windsource,”
regional vice-president Jerome Davis said in the release.
systemwide benefits of these programs require a long-term commitment for
any customer who takes part, and Boulder city leaders have made it
clear they may not be long-term customers.”
Late last year Xcel informed Boulder it would make the request if
Boulder did not agree to guarantee it would assume the company’s
obligations following municipalization.
Xcel Energy wants new SolarRewards contracts with Boulder customers
to include a provision that frees it from its obligations if and when
Boulder municipalizes. It also asks to be able to offer Boulder
residents pay-for-performance contracts for solar systems that are part
of the SolarRewards program, which would pay incentives over time and
not up front.
Boulderites will not be able to participate in solar gardens and the
long-term Windsource program would be closed to them until the city
decides if it wishes to condemn the electric distribution system. In
addition, new participation in energy efficiency and demand-side
management programs would be limited so spending does not exceed the
revenue received from Boulder customers