All posts by Christina Gosnell

Public Hearing for Performance-Based Ratemaking

Tell the House Committee that Utilities Should be Rewarded (or Penalized) Based on their Carbon Emissions
March, 25th, 1:30 pm
Colorado State Capitol, Room 0112
200 E. Colfax Ave, Denver

The Colorado House Transportation and Energy Committee will decide whether to move forward with HB 15-1250, which seeks to initiate an investigation into performance-based ratemaking. Tell the legislature that performance-based ratemaking should reward the utilities for reducing their carbon emissions.

Currently, most utilities’ profits are determined by how much capital they deploy, plus their allowed rate of return on that capital. In other words, the more they spend on their infrastructure, the more they are able to make. The idea behind performance-based ratemaking is to regulate the utilities’ profits according to how well they meet goals that we set for them. The goals or metrics can range from increasing reliability of the grid to reducing costs to increasing energy efficiency to reducing carbon emissions.

Once the metrics are determined, the utility either gets rewarded or penalized based on how well they adhere to the goals, as opposed to how much capital they deploy. The tricky part is making sure the goals explicitly include things that are important to us, like reducing their carbon emissions.

Colorado State Representative Max Tyler has introduced a bill that would require the PUC to investigate performance-based ratemaking based on a variety of metrics, including reducing carbon emissions.  We are happy to see that reducing carbon emissions is included in the list of metrics. It is crucial that minimizing carbon emissions remains a top priority.

If this bill passes, it will be the beginning of a process that can integrate metrics beyond short-term costs into the ratemaking process, including climate.

Tell the committee that regardless of whether or not they go forward with this bill, we need to integrate climate and public heath impacts into our electricity planning.

If you can’t make it to the hearing, please email the committee members:,,,,,,,,,,,,

Want to learn more about performance-based ratemaking?

CEA Explains: What is a Carbon Budget?

Our civilization seems to be in the denial stage on that climate change thing. Even the folks that know there is a problem don’t seem to realize the speed at which we need to act to have a decent chance of avoiding some of the catastrophic effects of climate change. A good way to think about the emissions reductions required is by examining our global carbon budget, or the total remaining CO2 our civilization can emit. Listen in as we attempt to explain carbon budgets.

CU-Boulder Divestment Day of Action

Friday, February 13
11:00 AM – Panel @ UMC 247
12:00 PM – Rally and March @ UMC Fountain
University Memorial Center – CU, Boulder
1669 Euclid Avenue, Boulder, CO 80309

Join Fossil Free CU, in global solidarity with thousands of other universities, faith groups, and communities in demanding Divestment from Fossil fuels.

Come to a panel on Divestment at 11am then join us for a Rally and March at noon to demand the University of Colorado remove its over $27 million worth of investments from fossil fuels! This is just the start,  Fossil Fee CU will be talking about big plans for the rest of the year, so don’t miss this opportunity! More info.

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COSEIA 2015 Solar Power Colorado Conference

The Next 25 Years: Celebrating COSEIA’s first quarter century and looking ahead to the future of solar energy.

Monday, February 23rd, 12:30 pm -7:30 pm
Tuesday, February 24th, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Wednesday, February 25th, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Omni Resort and Conference Center
500 Interlocken Blvd, Broomfield, CO

COSEIA2015LogoCOSEIA’s annual gathering is the year’s largest business-to-business opportunity for networking with solar industry executives, identifying new market opportunities, gaining insight into the latest thinking on policy and technology, and learning about exciting new solar products at the Expo Hall.

They’re finalizing a program filled with industry insiders with valuable business insights to share. This is your best chance all year to network in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with hundreds of solar professionals from around the nation.

This year, they are honoring COSEIA’s 25-year history – and focusing on the future. A panel of CEOs and executives will explore what it will take to enhance Colorado’s solar leadership in changing times. The conference will focus another plenary session on utilities of the future and how solar can scale up to become a major source of energy. Breakout sessions will explore climate change policy and new models of financing solar. National experts will share insights on solar thermal technologies and business models along with batteries and storage and integrating more renewables into the grid.