How much of our power should come from coal, from wind, from the sun?
Now is the time to express your opinion as city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities crafts its new version of the electric integrated resource plan (EIRP), last updated in 2008.
A public meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway.
Utilities says in a press release:
The outcome of this process could have a direct impact on future customer electric bills and how electricity is generated in Springs Utilities’ service territory. The planning process will also influence the organization’s draft Energy Vision, which states that by 2020, Springs Utilities would:
· Provide 20 percent of our total electric energy through renewable resources,
· reduce average customer electric use by 10 percent, and
· maintain a 20 percent regional price advantage on the residential electric bill.
At the July 13 meeting, Springs Utilities will ask attendees to offer evaluate several possible scenarios for meeting future energy needs.
Throughout the public process, customers are learning about and commenting on energy forecasts, existing resources and future renewable energy possibilities. A fourth and final meeting has been scheduled for Sept. 1; at the same time and location as the July 13 meeting.
Since the plan’s last update, much has changed. Federal and state environmental regulations continue to grow, customer usage trends have changed, the immediate need for new generating units has declined, and market prices for fossil fuels like natural gas continue to fluctuate, while the cost for some renewables, such as wind, has come down.
Springs Utilities uses the EIRP as a guideline for determining business practices, and submits the plan to the Western Area Power Administration to secure the purchase of federal electric power. Customers can follow the planning process at csu.org, Facebook and Twitter.