Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News, Politics and Government

Closing a coal-fired power plant in Pueblo to meet Colorado climate goals is easier said than done

This much is certain: Comanche 3 ­— Xcel Energy’s $1.3 billion coal-fired power plant in Pueblo — is going to close. When and how are now issues of intense debate before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The fate of the plant — the state’s largest single emitter of carbon dioxide — is key to Colorado […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News

Colorado’s consumer advocate gets wider climate powers and a new name

The state watchdog Office of Consumer Counsel announced a name change Wednesday and broader powers to intervene against utilities on behalf of the public in areas like climate change, career changes for energy workers and environmental justice for pollution-impacted communities.  The renamed Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate is also hiring additional attorneys for the […]

Posted inBusiness, Economy, News

Colorado’s big electric users could get a 30% discount on power under Xcel Energy’s incentive plan

Xcel Energy got the greenlight Wednesday to create an electricity discount as an economic development incentive for companies expanding in or moving to Colorado, even though state regulators were troubled by what they saw as problems in the plan. The discounts — aimed at companies sensitive to electric prices, range from 30% a year for […]

Posted inClimate, Economy, Energy, News

February storm eats up much of Cripple Creek schools’ energy budget for an entire year

  Tammy Bruntz had a sum in mind just before she opened her monthly email from Wolf Creek Energy detailing the February energy bill for her Cripple Creek-Victor School District.  The figure in her head was about $6,500, a typical midwinter bill for the district in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, and roughly what […]

Posted inBusiness, Energy, News

Colorado AG asks federal regulators to probe traders’ “windfall” gas profits from February cold snap

The 290,000 Colorado customers of Black Hills Energy could face up to $552 in surcharges over two years to pay for fuel-price surges during the Presidents Day weekend record cold snap, according to new filings with the state Public Utilities Commission.  Attorney General Phil Weiser, meanwhile, called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate […]

Posted inBusiness, Energy, News

Xcel, Atmos Energy say they saved Colorado customers nearly $1 billion during February freeze

Xcel Energy and other utilities pulled cheaper gas from storage over Presidents Day weekend, switched to bargain fuel at power plants and hedged prices as much as possible, according to new filings for a PUC investigation, but did not take the “drastic” step of warning consumers to cut back or face enormous bills. New documents […]

Posted inClimate, Energy, Environment, News, Wildfire

Xcel Energy looks to avoid Colorado wildfires — and PG&E’s fate — and wants customers to pay for it

Xcel Energy wants to charge its Colorado customers $589.7 million during the next five years to reduce their risk of causing wildfires, but consumer advocates aren’t buying it.  Xcel’s subsidiary, Public Service Company of Colorado, has cited the catastrophic wildfires in California started by Pacific Gas and Electric as motivation for the proposal. Xcel, which […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, Health, News, Politics and Government, Transportation

It will take $130M to get more EVs on Colorado roads. Xcel wants its customers to cover the cost.

Xcel Energy and the Polis administration hashed out the shape of a $30 million electric vehicle rebate program, the most generous in the country, behind closed doors. And then in September state officials presented it to utility regulators as their own. In a bit of regulatory theater, Xcel executives then commented on and critiqued the […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News

Colorado regulators probe why the coal-fired Comanche 3 power plant has been out of service for months

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday launched an investigation into Xcel Energy’s problem-plagued Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant, which has had chronic breakdowns requiring millions of dollars in repairs. The $1.3 billion plant near Pueblo has been out of service since mid-January. It was idled between January and June for repairs, Xcel said. When […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, Energy, News

Xcel pushes natural gas rate hike for Colorado customers even as regulators ask for coronavirus-related delay

Xcel Energy is pressing ahead with a proposed $145 million natural gas rate increase despite concerns by consumer advocates and a state regulator about its impact on customers in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In a March 18 ruling, Colorado Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Steven Denman said he “strongly encourages” Xcel […]