On April 9, the Commissioners of the Colorado PUC held a three hour informational meeting with presentations from Xcel, the collective solar parties, the Colorado Energy Office, the Office of Consumer Council, and Western Resources Advocates. The outlines of the process will start to firm up in May, but the parties laid out some general ideas for process and substance in PowerPoint presentations before a packed house.
As a quick recap, remember that this matter spun off from the 2014 RES compliance docket at the motion of the Colorado Energy Office. Their argument was, essentially, that if the value of solar was going to be debated it should get its own hearing instead of being stuck in the compliance plan almost as a sideshow. The CEO argued that severing the issues would “increase transparency and allow stakeholders from across the state to participate in the dialog related to incremental costs, net metering incentives, and solar energy rates.” (CEO motion 21 Jan 2014) The commissioners deliberated on the motion at their weekly meeting on January 29 and granted that motion shortly thereafter with much hand wringing about the structure of the new proceeding.
In response to that hand wringing, the commissioners held this informational meeting with the parties directed to discuss their “recommendations on the substantive issues the Commission should address in this proceeding, objectives the Commission should meet, and the best procedures satisfying those objectives.” (Decision No. C14-0294 in proceeding 14M-0235E) Continue reading Colorado PUC takes the next bite at Net Metering
Not Too Late to Urge Colorado Senators to reject the appointment of Glenn Vaad for PUC Commissioner
While Vaad’s ties to ALEC are important, most legislators may care more about his record. We also now understand that the nominee expressed an agnostic position regarding climate change. This view was given at a meeting with partner organizations and is absolutely untenable. Vaad has a record of voting against clean energy policies. He voted:
- Against increasing the Renewable Energy Standard (HB1001) in 2010
- Against Energy Efficiency Requirements (HB 1107) in 2008
- Against Prohibiting Restrictions on Energy Efficiency (HB 1270) in 2008
- Against Oil and Gas Commission Reconfiguration (HB 1341) in 2008
The PUC regulates telecom and transportation as well as utilities and his other votes indicate he won’t effectively regulate industry for the public good. To check out Vaad’s full voting record see VoteSmart.org.
Contact Your State Senator
Continue reading Continued Action Item: Speak Out Against PUC Nominee Glenn Vaad
The City of Boulder Presents Karl Rabago
Thursday, March 13th, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
West Senior Center: Creekside Room
909 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302
Update! Watch the presentation online:
The Q&A Session:
Are you wondering why solar is in the news so much these days? Is the industry in trouble? And what might changes mean for Boulder’s plans to draw more of its power from the sun?
We’ll be exploring these questions – and many more – on March 13 at a free and public event featuring Karl Rábago, a national leader and innovator on solar energy. We’d love to see you there!
This conversation is both relevant and timely. As part of the Energy Future initiative, the Boulder community has said it wants to increase opportunities for local generation of cleaner electricity. While initial modeling put an emphasis on wind, solar will undoubtedly be an important part of our resource mix. Boulder also has lots at stake in terms of the solar industry. Solar leaders that help individuals and businesses gain access to solar technology are contributing to our strong economy, positioning our community to make the type of environmental progress others dream about.
But regulatory changes are looming – and some worry solar’s golden era may be coming to an end. Locally, Xcel Energy has proposed significant changes in net metering as part of its 2014 renewable energy standard compliance plan. These issues have been severed into different dockets, but the decisions will be important nonetheless.
Few people understand the concerns and opportunities better than Karl Rábago. With more than 20 years of experience in electricity policy and regulation, energy market development and energy technology development, his perspective is deep and broad. Rábago operates an energy consulting practice, Rábago Energy LLC, providing strategic, policy, regulatory and market development consulting in the clean and innovative energy sectors. He serves as Chair of the Board of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-governmental organization that works to advance voluntary clean energy markets, and also sits on the Board of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).
- Commissioner, Texas Public Utility Commission
- Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy Vice President of Distributed Energy
- Services at Austin Energy Director of Regulatory Affairs for the AES Corporation and AES Wind
- Sustainability Leader with NatureWorks, LLC
- Managing Director & Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute
I testified with many of you at Monday’s CO PUC public comment session on net metering. It was a huge success with almost 100 pro-solar supporters showing up filling both PUC hearing rooms and over-flowing into the halls – thanks to the mobilizing efforts of all of you! The crowd was a diverse mix – ranchers, teachers, moms – but the message was consistent: Coloradans overwhelmingly support protecting policies that are making rooftop solar more affordable and accessible to Coloradans. Unfortunately the Denver Post’s coverage of the event did’t quite illustrate the tremendous outpouring of support for net metering and rooftop solar on display.
The commentors were articulate and passionate, noting that rooftop solar makes the grid stronger, gives consumers control over their energy futures, helps our state diversify its economy and safeguard its environment. These impassioned rooftop solar supporters outnumbered the few detractors 16 to 1.
Yesterday’s public comment session was an opportunity for the public to let the Commission know that as they embark on evaluating net metering, the public wants a transparent and inclusive process that fairly values the benefits of rooftop solar.
Public participation couldn’t be more important given that Xcel Energy has already filed comments asking for a process that limits meaningful stakeholder engagement and puts Xcel right back in the driver’s seat.
If you couldn’t make it out to the public comment session, it’s still not to late to speak up in support of a fair and transparent process for evaluating rooftop solar. Click here to let your Commissioners know that you are paying attention to this issue. We can’t let Xcel hold all of the cards when it comes to charting the path forward for Colorado’s clean energy.
We’ll be back in touch soon with next steps in the campaign to protect rooftop solar in Colorado.
Can you help us spread the word about the actual facts of the day? Please tweet and post one of the following from our friends at Vote Solar:
Continue reading Strong Support for Net Metering at the PUC Public Hearing
Support Rooftop Solar
February 3rd, 2014, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Public Utilities Commission Hearing Room
1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202
Your engagement has resulted in positive results! 30,000 petitions and comments later, the PUC has reached a decision to separate the net metering issue into a new docket. This is the next step in proving the benefits of distributed solar to the electrical grid.
Continued engagement is critical! On February 3rd, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is providing a forum for the public to comment on Xcel’s plan to penalize Coloradans who go solar. Please consider joining us in Denver to add comments to the record in opposition to Xcel’s proposal.
The PUC needs to hear from you that rooftop solar is helping Colorado build a cleaner, safer and lower cost energy supply.
Suggested Talking Points
Please start with the following two ASKS:
- Thank the PUC for their acknowledgement for this important solar issue, and we look forward to working through this new process to make sure that Colorado’s solar customers continue to get a fair deal.
- Private investment in rooftop solar is helping build a cleaner, safer and more resilient energy supply for all Coloradans
Continue reading Net Metering Public Hearing