Energy Efficient Colorado
ENERGY EFFICIENCY MAKES A DIFFERENCE—Since Colorado's landmark energy efficiency law passed in 2007, for-profit utilities like Xcel Energy have reduced electricity use by more than 1.6 billion kWh per year. That's equivalent to the electricty use of 210,000 typical homes.
SAVING COLORADO ENERGY AND MONEY
In 2007, Colorado passed a law requiring Xcel Energy and other for-profit utilities to launch robust energy savings programs that reduce energy waste. Specific annual goals were set by the PUC in 2008. Since then, the energy savings programs implemented will provide $924 million in net economic benefits and avoid a million tons of air pollution.
Despite this success, in 2014 Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility with 1.4 million customers, asked the PUC to lower their goals by 28% from their 2014 level. In May, 2014, the PUC rejected this energy savings rollback and directed Xcel to maintain their current energy savings level through 2020. In addition, the PUC directed Xcel to develop plans for additional savings.
It’s time for the rest of the state’s utilities to provide the same kinds of energy savings for their customers. So CoPIRG Foundation is working to push every utility in Colorado to do everything they can to reduce energy waste.
The cheapest, cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use in the first place. Whether you care about improving air quality, fending off the worst impacts of global warming, or simply saving money, energy efficiency and conservation are critical.
Two small explosions last night at a Texas chemical facility highlight that comprehensive emergency regulations need to be enforced more strictly at chemical plants.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission rejected Xcel Energy’s proposal to cut their energy savings programs by nearly a third from their 2014 level. The PUC also tightened up the rules around bonuses that Xcel can generate from meeting their goals and directed Xcel Energy to develop plans for new energy saving opportunities.
"Not using a kilowatt of energy is the cheapest energy there is," said Danny Katz, the director of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), an environmental advocacy group. "We think there's more to be done."
There is no question Xcel Energy's efficiency savings program has been a success since 2009, saving customers nearly 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours a year.
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