- Associated Press - Saturday, August 20, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Plans to close the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant are in question because Colorado Springs Utilities won’t meet its five-year conservation goal to cut energy demand by 12 percent.

Kenny Romero, manager of renewable energy, said the utility will have to find more ways to increase renewable energy sources.

“With all our programs, you still don’t get quite get to 12 percent. We would have to look deeper into other avenues outside the study results and existing program,” Romero said.

Jacquie Ostrom, who spent a year on Utilities’ Customer Advisory Group to help devise the five-year Electric Integrated Resource Plan, said other utilities have lower residential rates and still managed to make their goal of using at least 30 percent renewable energy sources.

Conservationist Lee Milner said reducing energy consumption is the best way to eliminate the need to add costly resources.



Utilities officials are also facing stronger federal emissions rules.

Romero said conservation measures could include energy efficiencies such as use of more LED lights, smart thermostats and rebates.

State officials say there are other options, including C-PACE, the state’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program that helps commercial and industrial customers finance building improvements that increase energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported (https://tinyurl.com/za8agdw ).

Participants have up to 20 years to repay the loans and can use property tax assessments to come up with the money.

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Information from: The Gazette, https://www.gazette.com

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