As climate talks in Lima wrapped up with an agreement from industrialized nations to raise $10 billion to finance clean energy across the globe, we turn now to look at what’s happening with clean energy here in Colorado. Earlier this year Xcel energy filed an application with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a $137.7 million electric rate increase that would raise average residential bills by about $5 a month. Xcel say the rate hike is to cover some of the cost of closing some coal fired power plants and converting others to natural gas. Those changes were mandated under the 2010 Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. But some clean energy advocates like R.J. Harrington and Zane Selvans at Clean Energy Action, say that natural gas is not the clean energy that many people believe it to be.
Xcel Energy told KGNU that they are taking an industry leading role in reducing carbon emissions. They said that they are on track to achieve 35% carbon dioxide emission reductions from 2005 levels by 2020, and are achieving this through a balanced approach of adding more renewable energy, working with customers to save energy through energy efficiency programs and retiring a number of coal-fired units by replacing them with natural-gas fired generation. They added that the new natural gas facilities will provide more flexibility to integrate renewable energy.
The PUC is still accepting written comments about Xcel’s rate proposal at 1560 Broadway, Suite 250, Denver, CO, 80202. Comments should be addressed to Docket No. 14AL 0660E. Customers may also submit e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org