WRA Applauds Settlement to bring Colorado a 21st Century Electric Grid Reducing Pollution, Saving Money
(Denver, Colorado – May 8, 2017) Today, diverse parties including environmental, consumer and business advocates along with Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest investor owned utility, signed a settlement to bring to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) much needed improvements in the electric grid, which will save customers money, reduce energy use, and meet Xcel customers’ energy needs in the 21st Century.
The Advanced Grid Intelligence and Security (“AGIS”) Settlement Agreement, which will now be considered by the PUC, will bring Colorado up to date on a next generation electric grid. In the end, AGIS will help Coloradans save money while also reducing pollution from power plants.“If approved, this Settlement Agreement would be an important step forward in creating a 21st Century electric grid in Colorado,” said Erin Overturf, Chief Energy Counsel with Western Resource Advocates. “Advanced electric meters will empower Coloradoans to control and manage their energy use, saving money and reducing waste. Other elements of the Settlement will reduce customers’ energy consumption by approximately 2%, avoiding over three hundred thousand tons of harmful carbon pollution each year.”
The settlement consists of two main components: First, a commitment to install ‘advanced electricity meters’ to Xcel customers, allowing users more control over their energy use. These meters provide valuable information to customers, facilitate integration of electric vehicles and smart appliances, and also improve reliability of the grid.
The second component is an optimization of the voltage across Xcel’s distribution grid (conservation voltage optimization) in the Denver metro area. These utility-side upgrades will improve efficiency and result in 2% reduction in energy consumption for customers and will reduce consumers’ energy bills. These system improvements will avoid approximately 360,000 tons of carbon pollution each year, and reduce other harmful air pollutants.
“This is yet another example of diverse stakeholders in Colorado coming together to forge innovative solutions that are good for customers and the environment. These grid improvements will empower customers with better information about their energy consumption, protect our clean air, and help Coloradans’ pocket books,” said Overturf. “We look forward to the Colorado PUC’s evaluation of this Settlement Agreement.”
The Colorado PUC is expected to consider this filing at its May 16 hearing. If approved, the installation of the advanced meters and other upgrades to the electric grid are expected to be implemented between 2019 to 2024.