The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is revising how it regulates electric utilities. This is an important opportunity to urge the PUC to help ensure fair electric rates for rural Colorado. Right now, most rural Coloradoans pay electric bills to electric cooperatives that buy power from Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association. But unlike other big electric utilities like Xcel, Tri-State can raise its rates and spend money on expensive coal plants without oversight from the PUC. The PUC has jurisdiction over Tri-State, but so far it hasn't exercised that oversight - and now rural Coloradoans are paying higher electric bills while Tri-State blocks co-ops from reducing costs with local renewable energy.
The Colorado PUC needs to hear from rural Coloradoans - submit a comment today.
1. Visit the PUC's Google Form for Filing a Comment: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclWDeNS2FCh0NdEijNU4igpUKqRZvTIYwZ8XSA2YYx3LF6qA/viewform
2. Select: "expressing an OPINION"
3. Choose the industry you are expressing an opinion about: "Electric"
4. Follow the directions on the next page that say, "Please continue by clicking on the following link:"
5. Select: "Rule-making and Investigations Initiated by the Colorado PUC"
6. Select "19R-0096E- Rulemaking Proceeding Regarding Proposed Amendements to the Electric Rules..."
7. Enter personal information in required fields
8. Write comment in text box, and attach relevant attachments
Not sure what to write in your comment? Here is a sample!
Dear Public Utilities Commission,
I believe Tri-State Generation & Transmission, Inc. should be required to follow state electric resource planning rules and oversight just like other Colorado utilities such as Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy. Last year, Xcel’s Colorado Energy Plan showed how a Colorado utility can retire existing coal plants, and replace them with cleaner, cheaper, modern alternatives. Similar opportunities may exist on the Tri-State system, but due to a lack of transparency and oversight, we can’t be sure those options are being explored.
Many rural areas in the West, including Tri-State’s service territory, have opportunities to improve infrastructure for a transition to a clean and cost-effective energy future through transmission lines, wind turbines, and utility-scale solar and storage. Rural communities should have access to new, clean, lower cost electricity, including local generation sources. Many rural communities are dependent on Tri-State's electricity mix and planning process, which devalues and discriminates against these local sources.
As a part of the resource planning process, I ask that the PUC require utilities like Tri-State to conduct a robust economic analysis of existing resources to examine if existing power plants are competitive with new resources. This would ensure that Colorado consumers are getting the best deal when it comes to their electricity.
Town/city where you live
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