According to the city’s statement, the Boulder Charter requires voter approval of any franchise agreement between the city and Xcel Energy. Discussions are anticipated to continue over the next few months. If the parties agree to formally present a proposed settlement to City Council prior to late July, the question of an agreement could be put on the November 2016 ballot.
“Both Boulder and Xcel Energy share numerous objectives and goals,” said David Eves, president of Xcel Energy in Colorado in the statement. “We believe working together we can take advantage of each other’s strengths and plans to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy and provide more customer choice and programs, which could serve as a roadmap for other communities in Colorado and the nation.”
The Daily Camera reports the municipality has spent $10.4 million on its bid to form a municipal utility, with $2.7 million spent on municipalization staff alone. Expenses covered in the spending include consulting services, salary, benefits office space and supplies.
Under the terms of any eventual settlement, Xcel Energy will continue to provide electric service to all customers within Boulder city limits.
“While we are continuing to evaluate the company’s proposals as they are filed with the Public Utilities Commission, we respect the recent steps Xcel Energy has taken to increase renewable energy sources in its new plan and revisit some of the regulatory limitations that make this challenging in Colorado,” said city manager Jane Brautigam. “This makes good environmental and economic sense.”
Should a proposed settlement be presented to the City Council before late July, the question of an agreement could be put on the November 2016 ballot. If a settlement occurred later, it could be put on the November 2017 ballot or on a special election ballot in the interim.
“What the city has wanted all these years, in my opinion, and what I’ve wanted all these years,” Weaver said, “is for us to drastically reduce emissions from our electric supply,” said councilman Sam Weaver.
Image via Shutterstock