The election is over.
So what's happening with Boulder's Energy Future?
Check out a great video that recaps 2011's outreach efforts!
Watch the motion graphic that kicked of 2011's work
In November 2011, Boulder voters agreed to pursue the possibility of forming a city-owned and operated electric utility. Research suggests that this approach would help the community reach its goal of giving residents, businesses and institutions throughout Boulder access to increasingly cleaner energy that is reliable and competitively priced. There is, however, more fact-finding and analysis to be done. Boulder City Council has said it will not make any decision about how to proceed until additional costs are known.
In addition to determining whether or not forming a city-owned and operated electric utility is doable, city staff will take on a few additional tasks that relate to the municipalization project and the community's goals of reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change:
While the city works on these three items, there are numerous things you can do in your home and office today to help the entire community.
A draft Work Plan Graphic summarizing the sequence of major tasks for the project in 2012 is now available.
Download a PDF of all this information
TASK #1 - Explore the formation of a local electric utility
Boulder has formed a team of outside legal specialists to work with city attorneys on negotiations and legal processes necessary to fully understand the costs of creating a local electric utility.
The team will work with Xcel Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state courts and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to determine how much the city would have to pay to acquire Xcel's system and start a city-run operation. This effort is expected to take two or more years.
Heather Bailey was recently hired to be the new executive director of energy strategy and electric utility development who will oversee this process. Heather will start on June 7 and will serve two years, providing vision, leadership and strategy guidance as the city works to determine the utilities feasibility.
TASK #2 - Create and Energy Action Plan (EAP)
A variety of interesting ideas have emerged about how Boulder might be able to accomplish its energy goals. These include the possibility of increasing solar supply or additional hydropower, wind turbines, heat districts and more.
Some of these ideas would require creating a local power utility. Other might not. Throughout 2012 and into 2013, the city will work with technical experts to explore several key strategies and develop an Energy Action Plan (EAP) that moves us toward greater energy independence and cleaner energy sources.
TASK #3 - Plan for climate action in 2013 & beyond
The city and its Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) will be working with members of the community to chart out a longer-term climate action vision. Some of this work is expected to inform decisions made by City Council about what, if anything, to put on the November 2012 ballot to extend funding for energy efficiency programs, such as EnergySmart and business-focused initiatives like 10 for Change.
The city will chart out both long-term goals about how to continue to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and concrete, shorter-term ways that the city, individuals, businesses, nonprofits and others can make a difference.
The city also plans to step up its efforts to help businesses and commercial property owners recognize energy saving opportunities and make improvements to increase efficiencies in their own operations and buildings. Energy use by commercial and industrial sectors accounts for nearly 60% of our community's greenhouse gas emissions, so the city will be working with these stakeholders to define the next steps for measuring performance, reducing use, saving businesses money and keeping Boulder competitive in the marketplace.
What you can do today
A lot! Our community has long been committed to addressing the threat of climate change. In 2006, Boulder voters were the first in the nation to tax their own energy use to help pay for programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions. This Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax expires in March 2013.
Supported by CAP tax investments, Boulder now has:
- EnergySmart, a "one-stop" energy advisor service that is a national model;
- One of the highest installed solar capacities per resident in the nation; and,
- Many community and business initiatives that are taking action to address climate change.
Whether you live, work, or go to school in Boulder, you have a role to play in taking action NOW to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Visit the city's Local Environmental Action Division's website to learn about many of the programs offered for homes and businesses.
Your efforts are extremely important to helping reduce and manage energy demand while the city pursues strategies for switching to cleaner sources of energy.
Download a PDF of all this information
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 13:49