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

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

The Public Utilities Commission reluctantly OK’d the program, worried that it won’t benefit areas most in need of economic development help.

Mark Jaffe
Colorado Sun

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 three years to 10% for 10 years — were approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on a 2 to 1 vote.

Xcel was given the ability to create such a program by House Bill 1271, passed in 2018. The legislation said utilities should be able “to offer rates and programs that help attract these businesses and provide incentives for the expansion.”

But Commissioner John Gavin said both the legislation and the discount plan “were deeply flawed.”

The plan was agreed to in consultation with with the commission’s staff and the state Office of Consumer Counsel, but Gavin said, “I have some fundamental problems with the settlement.”

The economic development discount would apply statewide to commercial and industrial operations adding 3 to 20 megawatts of new demand at one location. The program would be capped at 130 MW, though Xcel could seek a waiver to increase the cap.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.

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