Following in the footsteps of public utilities across the U.S., Xcel Energy is proposing rate changes that the utility says will bring it into lockstep with a changing energy landscape. But the rate changes are drawing the ire of the solar industry in Colorado who say the changes do not encourage homeowners to embrace clean energy technologies. Former Denver Post Energy Reporter Mark Jaffe discussed Xcel’s proposed rate changes in an interview on Empowering Colorado. Jaffe said rate changes are needed but they should accommodate alternative energy sources.
If you want to get someone’s attention, raise the price. We’re not sure where that came from but it is certainly the case here in Colorado. Companies in the oil & gas industry have for the past two years, faced higher penalties for violations of the state’s health, safety and the environment rules. Now, it looks like that has their attention. Since a state law requiring violations be tagged with substantially higher fines went into effect in 2014, companies are doing a better job policing themselves, says the head of the oil & gas commission.
Veteran Colorado energy reporter, Mark Jaffe, says despite the work of the governor’s Oil & Gas Task Force, local controversy will likely continue over any company plans for new wells. Such conflicts reflect the “fundamental conundrum,” Jaffe says, of who decides where drilling can take place.
Colorado’s largest utility is proposing significant changes in how customers are billed for electric power. XCEL says rates must change with the times while the state’s solar industry says the plan punishes efficiency and renewables. Veteran reporter Mark Jaffe puts the proposal and its impact into perspective.