- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2016

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) - A utility with 1.3 million Colorado customers is pursuing peak hours and an option for as many as 10,000 users to get all of their energy from renewable sources.

Xcel Energy and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission have reached a pending settlement that includes these options, the Pueblo Chieftain reported (https://bit.ly/2eEZrsi).

Xcel and Black Hills Energy are required by state law to supply 30 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Black Hills provides power to about 94,000 customers in the Pueblo area.

Conservation group Western Resource Advocates drafted the agreement and is working with Black Hills as well.

Analyst Gwen Farnsworth says cheaper power at night would be offered to all Xcel customers. These off-peak hours would start at 9 p.m. and end before 9 a.m.

Black Hills has meters that already extend these so-called time-of-use rates to customers.

She said customers who choose the pilot program for total renewables need to commit for five years and will temporarily pay higher prices. Farnsworth said the program is capped at 10,000 customers due to capacity.

She said Xcel will invest in more renewables if there is demand for the program.

“We believe that over time, those (renewable) customers will see a savings,” Farnsworth said.

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Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain, https://www.chieftain.com


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