Project History and Background Information
2002 - The Boulder City Council passes resolution in support of the Kyoto Protocol; sets goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.
Summer 2010 - City Council votes not to renew Boulder's franchise agreement with Xcel Energy.
Fall 201o - City Council places a "Utility Occupation Tax" on the November 2010 ballot that replaces expiring franchise fee; the tax passes by a 68% margin.
End of 2010, early 2011 - City of Boulder launches a rigorous analysis of energy supply options.
Spring 2011 - Consultants tell council they believe creation of a local electric utility is legally, technically and financially feasible.
End of May/June 2011 - Xcel proposes possible wind farm agreement.
July 2011 - Negotiations between Boulder and Xcel Energy break down over the issue of whether to put two Xcel-related items on the November ballot - one including a wind farm agreement, and one similar to the recently-expired franchise.
2011 (August) - City Council places an option to create a municipal electric utility on the November 2011 ballot.
November 2011 - City of Boulder voters narrowly approved two measures that supported taking the next steps in exploring the possibility of acquiring Xcel Energy's distribution system and forming a city-owned utility. The next steps in exploring potential municipalization include extensive engineering and legal work to determine how much it would cost to purchase the distribution system and operate a city-owned utility. The city believes it will take 3 - 5 years to complete this process, although there will be several "off-ramps" where a decision to continue with the process or pursue other options will need to be made.
2012 Work - In addition to assessing the city's capability to form a municipal utility, the city worked to outline the next generation of climate action efforts in boulder, which includes:
The city also worked on the development of an Energy Action Plan that will inform and guide both the municipalization analysis (defining the business model and priorities for a city-owned utility that seeks to provide "energy as a service" rather than a "commodity") and near-term actions related to energy efficiency and other "localization" priorties." The plan, when completed, will include actions that can be taken to and leading up to the operation of a municipal power utility, as well as actions that could be carried forward in the event that a utility proves to be infeasible or undesirable in the final analysis.
Local Power Study Began in 2005
While energy has been a hot topic in Boulder for the past year and a half, the concept of creating a municipal utility has been around much longer than that. In 2005, the city embarked on a two-track investigation to test the viability of creating a public power utility while also maintaining council's flexibility to choose whichever alternative was deemed to be in the city's best intest: direct municipal control through city ownership; or, indirect city influence through agreements with Xcel Energy. Following the decision by Xcel Energy to choose
As part of its prior evaluation of municipalization, the city commissioned and accepted a Preliminary Feasibility Study by consultant R.W. Beck in 2005. The study concluded that "there is reasonable expectation that the city could acquire the Xcel distribution system" without any rate increases.
The preliminary analysis indicated a large range of potential costs for creation of a municipal utility in
The study recommended that the city pursue municipalization of electric power services within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 13:23