Boulder Plans to Shape its Own Energy Future

Published By : 28 Oct 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Most Republican candidates running for the 2016 presidential race are in favor of a market-oriented energy plan. On the other hand, Boulder, Colorado, the location for the next GOP debate, is busy conducting its own energy-related experiment going the other way.

Boulder is trying to lose ties with Xcel Energy, a private energy utility, to replace it with a city-owned and public service. Those who support the effort have stated that keeping a publicly owned utility will help more investments in renewable energy and cut back of the carbon emissions. It will also let consumers keep their own energy bills down.

Should the transition between private to public model be a success, the efforts of Boulder can hopefully serve as a guideline for other cities.

Municipalization was initiated in 2010 by Boulder to allow the exchange of corporations with public and city-owned projects. That was when the city council refused to refresh a 20-year agreement with Xcel, a privately owned energy company and a key consumer of coal.

The decision made by Boulder to cut ties with private corporations is driven by a previously instilled grassroots approach which lays in favor of a greater attempt to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Even in the past, Boulder council members did not accept a 20-year agreement with Xcel without clauses that would make the corporation adopt evolving industry practices, particularly in the department of renewable energy.

Sara Huntley, a spokesperson for the Boulder city council, said that Xcel was unable to accept a franchise that would last for less than twenty years. The city council, on the other hand, was looking for a five or a ten year long agreement, primarily due to the state of change that the global energy industry was in at the moment

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