A twenty-first century electric utility would be very good for Boulder business.
More Control of Your Energy Costs
A local utility focuses on your bottom line, not theirs.
- Non-profit public power rates are typically lower than investor-owned utilities across the US.
- Renewable energy costs have been plum-
meting. The fuel is free. More renewable energy enables rates to level off or decline.
- A local utility — freed from obligation to generate shareholder profits — could support energy and cost saving innovations such as more
renewable energy, flexible generation, flexible grid development, microgrids and controls, demand side management, building efficiency and storage.
- If you currently pay Xcel for WindSource (about a 15% surcharge) to make your business green, 100% renewable local power would eliminate that surcharge.
- Your business could take billing and other concerns directly to local utility management for immediate resolution.
- Business could be an important voice in local public power decisions and policy-making instead of waiting in line at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
More Stable Rates
Predictable rates are essential for business planning.
- Renewable energy generation has no fuel costs so future energy expenditures can be projected out over decades.
- Eliminating fossil fuels removes price fluctuations and potential shortages.
- Your business pays for the volatility in fossil fuel costs (including annual increases over the past decade) because — using the Electric Commodity Adjustment — Xcel simply passes these costs on to you. Xcel has no incentive to curb these costs.
- Xcel rates have increased 2% almost every year for the last decade, while Xcel’s Colorado profits have approximately doubled. Xcel takes approximately $20M net profits from Boulder year after year.
- Xcel plans rate increases for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 totaling over 9%.
More Reliable Service
Increase competitive edge and reduce disruption.
- Public utilities are more reliable than investor-owned utilities across Colorado and the US because, as non-profits, they invest more in their own infrastructure, burying power lines for example.
- A Boulder electric utility could have the same reliability as Fort Collins Utilities which is 99% ”undergrounded,” and has the highest reliability ratings in Colorado.
- A Boulder pubic electric utility would encourage power production throughout the community, increasing resiliency and redundancy in the face of unpredictable events.
Business Growth and Innovation
Encourage a thriving and diverse entrepreneurial environment.
- A local utility would facilitate a level playing field for small businesses that require access to 21st century electrical and communication grids in order to remain competitive.
- Businesses would be encouraged to innovate with their own renewable energy resources. That could provide them with new green marketing
opportunities and the ability to meet their sustainability goals cost-effectively.
- Businesses could pilot peer-to-peer trading, sale of excess renewable capacity and other innovative financial arrangements not permitted by Xcel or the PUC regulatory environment.
- Xcel is constrained by the requirement to provide the same services to all cities and routinely presents obstacles to business innovation.
- Like Longmont, Boulder’s electric utility could
operate a city-owned network adding optical fiber or integrating yet-to-be-developed communication technologies into the electric grid relatively cheaply, financed through revenue bonds guaranteed by the electricity income stream: Imagine a state of the art, city-wide municipal broadband with blazing speeds for a reasonable price.
- A Boulder-owned utility would prioritize hiring locally, thus pumping money into the local economy, an obvious plus for our business community.
Boulder Business!!! Step into the 21st Century
Vote YES on 2L
- 2L would increase the Utility Occupation Tax (UOT) for two years and then drop back to the current UOT rate until 2022. A line item on your bill, the money goes to the general fund.
- Voting YES on 2L preserves our options, allows us to figure out the costs of public power, and maintains our leverage to urge Xcel to clean up its electricity supply.
- Importantly, if at any time we vote to take an off-ramp, this UOT will be discontinued.