Paul Culnan: Bait and switch

August 5, 2020

Dear Council members,

Based on past Xcel discussions, not just here but also in Minneapolis and Denver, we know to expect that this Partnership Agreement is no partnership. It is a vendor-client arrangement to buy electricity from Xcel at whatever rate they talk the PUC into ordering. And it isn’t an agreement either, Xcel has so many outs that they can do what they want, which is protect their monopoly and make the maximum authorized profit.

Boulder did just fine for the last 10 years without a franchise agreement with Xcel, and keep in mind that Xcel also did just fine without a franchise agreement with Boulder. The opt out clauses of the FA won’t bother Xcel one bit.

Sign the franchise agreement and we lose what little leverage with Xcel that we have. Several people have commented about how the muni exploration project has moved the needle on Xcel’s thinking. Sign the franchise agreement and we will never move that needle again.

Talk to your counterparts in Minneapolis and Denver about how much their “partnerships” with Xcel are benefiting them. Are they happy with Xcel? If they had it to do over what would they have done differently?

I would be happy to contact their city councils if you would like me to set something up. Just let me know.

The reason to pursue a muni are many. The one benefit that drives most the others is that with a muni Boulder would have a revenue stream to dip into to finance all these projects. Without the muni Boulder has to tax its citizens, who also have to keep paying their Xcel bills. Let’s see a show of hands from those of you think that our electric rates are going to go down over the next 5 years while Xcel adds $7 Billion to the rate base in Colorado.


Paul Culnan
3555 Silver Plume CT, Boulder CO 80305

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *