Xcel Energy Claims Low-Hanging Fruit Has Been Picked in Colorado

Sustained Savings Energy Efficiency
Gita Subramony for Zondits, May 5, 2014

Xcel Energy is clamoring for a reduction in their energy efficiency goals. The Colorado utility currently offers rebates for energy efficiency equipment and invests $75 million in the program every year. However, they are claiming that the costs for running these programs will rise with increased efficiency goals. The utility contends that the low-hanging fruit has been picked, as many homeowners and businesses have adopted energy efficient equipment as a result of their programs. However, environmental groups say that efficiency still has room to grow in Colorado and that Xcel’s efficiency goals should be expanded.

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Xcel Energy seeks to reduce energy efficiency programs

Northern Colorado Business Report, April 22, 2014

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) is seeking to lower goals it must meet for energy efficiency, saying it has made major strides in this arena, and that wringing additional savings will be difficult and costly for rate payers.

Xcel is arguing for lower standards during hearings this week at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Xcel says that a scheduled increase in its energy efficiency programs will lead to rate increases for customers. Xcel invests $75 million annually in the program, which offers rebates for high efficiency lighting, appliances, furnaces, air conditioners and achieves 1.35 percent energy savings as a percentage of the company’s total sales. Its existing agreement with the utilities commission requires that it achieve energy savings equal to 1.85 percent of its total sales between 2015 and 2020.

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