Empower Our Future

Clean Energy. Local Control.

Oversight of Xcel + Boulder: Accountability

In November 2020, Boulder voters turned out in droves to support reducing our climate impacts by embracing renewable electricity. A slim majority voted to do so by re-entering a 20 year Franchise Agreement with Xcel Energy, our local electricity provider.

This page is where Empower Our Future will provide regular updates on the progress of the agreements.
Advisory Panel Members were chosen in late May of 2021 and met for the first time in late July, 2021, via an online meeting. Their next meeting is yet to be scheduled.


In case you missed it: Boulder Weekly 1.7.2021 article “The inside story of how Boulder and Xcel reached a settlement” By Matt Cortina and Angela K. Evans

Alpine Balsam Energy Feasibility Study Webinar 4.14.21

This is one of the projects listed in the Boulder/Xcel Partnership Agreement. The presentation video is here.

Partnership Agreement

Per the City website, the Settlement Agreement seeks to make significant progress on Boulder’s clean energy and climate goals. Under the deal, the city and Xcel Energy are working together in a modern grid planning partnership, aimed at helping the city achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030. 

See more at: City of Boulder-Xcel Energy Partnership

Franchise Agreement

The franchise agreement Xcel extended to Boulder was largely boilerplate content.

The Settlement Agreement includes the Franchise Agreement (Exhibit A) and an Energy Partnership Agreement (Exhibit B). The Energy Partnership Agreement lays out a set of metrics and criteria against which a list of possible partnership projects will be evaluated (see Metrics and Criteria at right). 

A Prioritized Project list has been identified in Attachment A to the Partnership Agreement (see pp. 66-67). Boulder and PSCo have identified these projects as those that could be implemented within the first five years of the Partnership and will go into 2021 planning rotations. 
Attachment B to the Partnership Agreement (see p. 68) identifies Potential Projects and shall be populated from community and staff ideas and screened to include only projects for which measured progress can be made and which are financially and technically reasonably feasible. The Prioritized Project List shall be populated from the evaluation of Attachment B.
The Partnership Agreement also defines an Advisory Panel (see Exhibit B, Section II, 2, 00. 60-61)) which shall include consistent designated representatives of both PSCo and Boulder staff (the “Advisory Panel”) and the Boulder community, both business and residential. The makeup of the Advisory Panel will consist of 6-15 representatives determined by Boulder and PSCo that represent the business community, the residential community and the University of Colorado. 
The City and Xcel are currently evaluating about 100 applications to be a part of the Advisory Panel.
In the meantime, a subcommittee of Empower Our Future members is evaluating the partnership projects proposed in Attachments A & B to quantify each potential project relative to the metrics and criteria defined in the agreement, and relative to our community goals
  • 100% renewable electricity by 2030
  • 100MW local generation by 2030
  • 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.

Stay tuned for EOF recommendations for prioritizing the projects defined in the Partnership Agreement, and for updates on our progress on Boulder’s climate goals.


(see Exhibit B, Section III, B2, page 62):
a. change to building and transportation sector emission through beneficial electrification; 
b. increase in installed capacity of local renewable generation; 
c. impact on overall system and site reliability resilience; and    
d. financial impact on Boulder residents and businesses. 


(see Exhibit B, Section III, B4, page 63):

a. Projects that would not happen in the absence of this Partnership.  
b. Be available to all the relevant customers in Boulder or that are in a project’s target area without excluding members. 
c.  Align with Boulder’s commitment to racial equity and will include pathways for community members who typically do not have the opportunity to access programs or projects. 
d. Be designed and structured to have the broadest impact to the most residences and/or businesses possible.
e. Include targets and metrics of this Agreement and others agreed upon by the Parties.