About the Boulder Energy Future Project
For most cities (and many people), the future is simply what occurs as a result of the past and present. Current reality extends into the months and years ahead without much impetus for change. When it comes how we get our energy, however, the Boulder community has recognized that the status quo may not be good enough -- either today or for future generations.
2013: A Fork in the Road
We’re at a critical point in our efforts. Steps we take over the next several months will build on more than a decade of hard work to address climate change and make our community’s way of life more sustainable. Boulder has seen some significant success in these goals, but the current focus -- to offer cleaner and greener electric supply with rates and reliability that are comparable to Xcel Energy’s – could make a critical difference in affecting real change.
This work is a continuation of more than a decade of leadership by the Boulder community:
The findings of a third-party review and a deeper analysis of what the utility would look like will be presented at the July 23 Council study session. This presentation leads to a decision by Council in August where next steps to move forward will be determined.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “It is always the right time to do the right thing.”
We feel the same way about our energy future.
Boulder currently receives electric service from Xcel Energy, a regulated monopoly that serves many communities in several states. The city’s 20-year franchise agreement with Xcel Energy ended in 2010. The city and Xcel Energy were not able to agree to a plan where Boulder residents and businesses would receive a greater amount of renewable energy. Rather than renew a long-term franchise agreement with Xcel Energy, the City Council decided, instead, to investigate possible alternatives.
After thousands of hours of work by staff, members of the community and outside experts since 2005, staff discussed its preliminary findings at a City Council Study Session on Feb. 26, 2013. Specifically, it shared its modeling of 6 specific Energy Future options and discussed creating "The Electric Utility of the Future." On April 16, the city council voted to move onto phase 2 of the exploration study.
The Utility of the Future would be a provider of energy services, not just energy commodities. Specifically, the Utility of the Future would be the unifying entity that connects the needs and wants of its users with the core values of the community in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.
If the city continues to explore this vision, there will be risks and rewards, as is always the case with any endeavor that is bold and exciting. Staff and outside experts are working to quantify both using the latest information and analytic tools available.
Creating the Future Takes Time and Effort
The Boulder Energy Future project is a commitment to ourselves and to our children to change a system that was built around 19th century needs, goals and technology. It is an effort to think creatively and prudently “outside the box,” either with our current electric provider’s collaboration or without it. It’s about:
Boulder's Energy Future. It's not too late to help us create it - would you like to help?
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Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 14:46
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