(November 9, 2016, Colorado) Today the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) deliberated on a settlement agreement and approved a landmark suite of energy policies and opportunities that advance clean energy. The decision offers more clean energy options for Xcel’s Colorado customers than ever before, including:
- an improved net metering policy (billing mechanism that fairly credits rooftop solar customers for the valuable electricity they add to the grid);
- significantly expanded voluntary renewable energy programs, with additional opportunities for rooftop solar (up to 225 MW over three years), community solar gardens (up to 117 MW over three years), and industrial waste heat to power (60 MW over three years);
- over 18 MW of innovative new opportunities for low-income customers to “go solar”;
- a new voluntary green energy product, Renewable*Connect, which will allow residential and business customers to obtain up to 100% of their energy consumption from renewable sources (up to 50MW); and,
- a path for time-of-use rates that reward customers with lower rates for using less energy at off-peak times.
“We applaud the PUC’s landmark decision benefiting all customers, clean energy supporters, and Xcel Energy,” said Jon Goldin-Dubois, President of Western Resource Advocates. “This continues Colorado’s leadership where diverse stakeholders come together to build a vibrant, clean energy economy. Plain and simple this means more clean and affordable energy for Coloradans. Today’s decision also breaks the stalemate between utilities and rooftop solar interests by advancing fair rates for rooftop solar, customers, and the utility.”
Diverse interests came together to resolve critical and often thorny issues debated in Colorado for years, not only in Colorado but also around the West. WRA is proud to have partnered with a variety of other stakeholders on the agreement: Staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel, CF&I Steel, the City and County of Denver, the City of Boulder, Clean Energy Collective, Climax Molybdenum Company, Colorado Communications and Utility Alliance, Colorado Energy Consumers, the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Independent Energy Association, Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, Energy Freedom Coalition of America, Energy Outreach Colorado, GRID Alternatives, NextEra Energy Resources, Ormat Nevada, Solar Energy Industries Association, Sunrun, and Vote Solar.
Goldin-Dubois added, “We hope this decision reflecting a balance between diverse interests encourages stakeholders in other states to look for creative, collaborative solutions that advance clean affordable energy for everyone. Good rate design and clean energy innovation can benefit the entire West.”