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KJCT8
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- A new report shows thousands of Coloradans are missing out on energy savings because of the side of the street that they live on. The scenario that plays out across the state, including in Grand Junction where Xcel grids meet Grand Valley Power grids.

"We didn't lose anything anywhere else, so we're going to stay here," Bob Klein said of his Bonito Avenue home.

Klein, like many of his neighbors on this street, has lived here for quite a long time - long enough to remember when he had a different power provider."When Grand Valley expanded, them and public service got together and divided up the valley," he explained. "We just received a letter in the mail saying "From today on, you're with Grand Valley Power. It wasn't our choice."

Bonito Avenue is a perfect example of where two grids come together. Neighbors west of its 29 Road intersection are provided electricity by Xcel while those to the east are with GVP.

It is a separation that the Colorado Public Interest Research Group says its now getting in the way of energy conservation and customer cost-savings.The group describes the problem in its 30-page report titled "The Other Side of the Street." Their conclusion says a difference in providers means a difference in incentive programs and saved money."Xcel runs a whole host of programs like rebates and incentives which allows people to invest in energy efficiency and save money whereas Grand Valley Power offers much more limited options for people," Keelin Kelley with CoPIRG said.

Her group hopes awareness of this issue will urge customers to speak up about rebates. But, GVP, a customer-owned cooperative, worries the plan could backfire."The reality is any rebate program that any company, utility, any place offers, ultimately comes from the customer," Derek Elder with GVP said.

Elder says they hesitates to offer an abundance of rebate programs because of the trickle down effect they could have. "What we don't want to do is impact our ratepayers by giving away too much rebate money by increasing rates," he said. "We have 17,000 meters compared to Xcel's million or more. We just can't bring in enough revenue to compete on the same level as them."Klein admitted that he would like to have more rebate programs available, but that overall he is happy with GVP.

"We're real happy with it, we have no complaints whatsoever," he noted. "We're part-owners in it, so we take a personal interest in the business and what they do."Even though some GVP customers are disappointed in the number of rebate programs available to them, one thing to keep in mind is that they all share this Co-op's revenue.

Every December each customer sees a check for their share of the revenue from 15 years ago. That is something Xcel customers don't get.

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