Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Who is the Greenest Electric Utility of them All?

This article  sketches an interesting election decision this Tuesday.  Will the greens from Boulder, Colorado continue to buy their power from the "big bad" Xcel private electric utility or will they switch to a municipal provider?

The article provides some additional support for my old finding that greens do "walk the walk".

"Because of the intense environmental ethos here, for example, Xcel customers in Boulder have been disproportionate enrollees in the company’s existing solar energy and conservation programs. The city’s 48,000 Xcel customers account for only 3.4 percent of the statewide ratepayer base, but 15 percent of the solar participants."  That sounds like my Prius findings in Berkeley.

The funny thing is that Colorado has a differential RPS standard for private utilities versus municipal utilities. The privates face a more stringent RPS than the municipal utilities (this must be due to soaking the private firm's share holders rather than the municipal within state rate payers) so the greens may actually increase their state's carbon factor if they vote out the "capitalist pigs" on Tuesday.