Technically Optimal Service Area Map: The city will not seek to annex property outside of city limits, but will seek to provide service if a municipal utility if formed
Since the 2011 vote on Boulder's Energy Future, Boulder has been working with a team of consultants and volunteer members of our community with industry expertise to analyze whether municipalization is a feasible option, based on carefully prescribed Charter requirements, and to determine what form such a utility might take. One of the first steps was to define the area that such a utility would serve. A new technically optimal service area map was created by city staff and engineers who are specialists in ensuring system reliability.
On the map above, you will see that there are areas outside of the current city limits that would be included in a potential new utility's service area. The city has determined that there is no requirement that areas outside city limits be annexed in order to provide electrical service.
For technical and efficiency reasons, however, staff is recommending that the city seek to acquire all six of the electrical substations currently serving the city. These substations also serve portions of the county, including many of the neighborhoods most immediately adjacent to existing city limits. The city's engineers have concluded that serving the entire area currently served by these substations is the best way to ensure reliability and the most technically optimal option for separating the existing system from that which the city would operate. This means that the city run utility, if created, would provide electrical service to all residences and businesses served by these substations, including those that are outside of the city limits.
The city wises to all potential customers to become involved in the analysis and discussion about the possibility of municipalization. Research suggests that customers of a city-owned utility would be able to draw more of their electricity from renewable resources and experience the same level of reliability while paying rates comparable or lower than those charged by Xcel Energy. Customers outside of city limits would enjoy the same benefits. These uniquely situated customers would also be entitled to an additional layer of regulatory oversight. If a city-run utility wanted, at any point in time, to charge these customers different rates, those rates could not become effective until after they had been reviewed and approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
All potential customers' input matters to us. The Feb. 26 Study Session with council will feature a discussion about the service area, and we encourage you to attend or watch live on Boulder Channel 8. A recorded version will be available after the meeting. Study sessions do not include time for public input but are a great way to learn more about an issue.
After this session and before a decision on how to move forward is made on April 16, the city will offer several different ways for individuals to share their feedback. These will include a business-focused telephone conference call and a community open house. The open house, which will be geared toward potential residential customers within and outside of city limits, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the West Boulder Senior Center - 909 Arapahoe Ave. You are invited to attend, learn more, ask questions and provide input on all municipalization options under consideration.
The city is committed to sharing information as it becomes available. Up-to-date reports will be provided on this website, but you can also register to receive email updates. The project's online comment form is always available to provide feedback and ask questions about any aspect of the municipalization exploration work.
Service Area Map (click on map for larger version):
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 12:43
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