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.
“But the 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