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Time Sensitive Actions
Public comment needed at the Public Utilities Commission Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 4pm
The hearing will be on “cost recovery” for Xcel’s stranded coal plants. (Proceeding 22A-0515E)
Link to sign up to speak at the public comment hearing: https://forms.gle/BhZ2Q9xF3ShSxxTcA.
Scroll down for full information and zoom link.
Short statements are fine. Tell the PUC you don’t want to have to pay off Xcel’s mistakes!
THE MAIN POINT IS CUSTOMERS SHOULD NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING OFF XCEL’S MISTAKES!
Just make this basic point in your own words. No other business can do this: Xcel is an investor-owned monopoly with no competition and guaranteed returns resulting in lavish profits ($727M in 2022) and they shouldn’t be allowed to reap the profits while bearing no responsibility for their actions.
- The PUC is focused on HOW customers should pay for Xcel’s stranded coal plants—but that misses the point.
- The key question is WHO should pay for Xcel’s mistaken expenditures on coal plants—Xcel assumes customers should pay for their mistakes—No other business can do this—and Xcel shouldn’t be able to do this!
- Before deciding what method to use for cost recovery (“regulatory asset” or securitization or accelerated depreciation etc) the PUC NEEDS TO FIRST LOOK AT WHO SHOULD PAY AND THE PUC SHOULD NOT START WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT IT IS XCEL’S CUSTOMERS WHO SHOULD PAY FOR XCEL’S MISTAKES!
- This proceeding involves paying off over $200 million dollars for the Brush coal plant (the one Xcel calls “Pawnee). In the last decade, Xcel has spent over $279 million on sulfur and nitrogen controls for the Brush coal plant as part of what was called “Clean Air Clean Jobs” or “CACJ.” Those CACJ expenditures more than doubled the value of the Brush coal plant and Xcel has been earning a profit on that. (Proceeding 11A-325E) Now that those expenditures will be deemed “obsolete” (only about a decade from when they were completed), Xcel wants its customers to continue to pay them off. (Similar arguments apply to the Hayden coal plants but the numbers are significantly smaller.) Again—customers (who have no meaningful role at the PUC) should not be forced to pay off Xcel’s mistakes.
- The PUC has extremely broad authority to “correct abuses” and to do all things necessary (see CRS 40-3-102, below and attached) to regulate our monopoly investor-owned utilities.
40-3-102. Regulation of rates – correction of abuses.
The power and authority is hereby vested in the public utilities commission of the state of Colorado and it is hereby made its duty to adopt all necessary rates, charges, and regulations to govern and regulate all rates, charges, and tariffs of every public utility of this state to correct abuses; to prevent unjust discriminations and extortions in the rates, charges, and tariffs of such public utilities of this state; to generally supervise and regulate every public utility in this state; and to do all things, whether specifically designated in articles 1 to 7 of this title or in addition thereto, which are necessary or convenient in the exercise of such power, and to enforce the same by the penalties provided in said articles through proper courts having jurisdiction; except that nothing in this article shall apply to municipal natural gas or electric utilities for which an exemption is provided in the constitution of the state of Colorado, within the authorized service area of each such municipal utility except as specifically provided in section 40-3.5-102.
- Xcel in Colorado (i.e. “PSCo”) had $727 million in after-tax net income in Colorado in 2022 (page 24 (31 of 65) in PSCo’s 2022 10-k, attached or available from SEC 10-K Filings | Xcel Energy)—it is past time for the Colorado PUC to start truly protecting Xcel’s customers—and not assuming that customers will pay for Xcel’s mistakes is an important first step.
- It is NOT just and reasonable (as called for in CRS 40-3-101) to make customers pay off Xcel’s mistakes.
- Approval from the PUC (through a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity or “CPCN”) provides a presumption of prudence but not a guarantee. If Xcel wants guaranteed protection from paying for its mistakes, then its “Return on Equity” or ROE should be much, much lower (e.g. under 4%) than its current 9.3% ROE. A 9.3% return on equity implies a level of risk. Xcel should not get to have it both ways—a high Return on Equity—AND no risk. The PUC needs to correct this abuse.
Registration link to participate in the public comment hearing: https://forms.gle/BhZ2Q9xF3ShSxxTcA
Below is the more information and the link for signing up and the zoom connection
PUC: Public Comment HRG: 22A-0515E Public Service Co. of Colo – Retirement of Coal Generation, C3 (Reporter)
When: Tue, March 21, 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Where: Hearing Room B, DORA – Hearing Room B (map)
Colorado PUC Hearing Room B Zoom meeting.
Topic: PUC: Public Comment HRG: 22A-0515E Public Service Co. of Colo – Retirement of Coal Generation, C3 (Reporter)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 892 1759 6349
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+12532158782,,89217596349#,,,,*926831# US (Tacoma)
Thank you for helping to move Colorado forward!
Citizens’ Climate Lobby legislation, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is in the Senate. Learn how it works. See the Citizens’ Climate Lobby website to take action and to support it (see “Take Action”). Support for CCL’s rationale includes Professor Michael E. Mann, who is recognized around the world as a leading expert on climate change. Read (or listen to) his July 2, 2021 Op-ed in the Allegheny Front.
New Era Colorado – see their drop-down menu “Take Action”