Customers of Xcel Energy living in Boulder could possibly lose the ability to use the company’s solar rebates and programs aimed at energy efficiency if Boulder voters approve to measures aimed at cutting ties with Xcel and starting a Boulder city utility.
The news of this came out in a recent press release that Xcel Energy released that said there are “consequences” if Boulder voters approve 2B and 2C. However, it’s not yet clear if Colorado energy regulators would allow that to happen.
Even if Boulder voters OK the two measures, it would take several years before a municipal utility is created. Plus if it’s too expensive, Boulder City Council could decide to forgo the idea of creating a Boulder utility and just stick with Xcel anyway. In the meantime, Xcel is considering not allowing Boulder customers the ability to use some of its voluntary programs, according to an Xcel company official.
In all, Boulder contributes about 5% of Xcel’s annual sales. However, Boulder customers make up a greater share of people who use the alterntiave energy programs. Boulder residents encompass 16% of Xcel’s Windsource buys, 20% of solar panels that go on rooftops and 7% of rebates aimed at rewarding energy efficiency.
The Public Utilities Commission would have to approve Xcel’s denial of these programs to Boulder customers. The PUC is the regulatory agency watching over Xcel. A PUC official said all Xcel customers – even those in Boulder – have a right to use them if Xcel is still offering services in Boulder.