The Energy Policy Center is really on top of things. For example, last Friday when Amy got wind that 109 days into the 120 day legislative session, a bill was introduced that would fundamentally change the energy policy in Colorado, she sounded the alarm and both wrote a blog post and recorded a podcast on the bill – SB 178.
The bottom line is this: SB 178 changes Colorado’s renewable energy mandate from a purely nominal 30% to a real 30%. Right now, our 30% renewable mandate is really only 24% when you factor in the multiplier, which credits 1.25 for every 1 megawatt of renewable energy provided. What SB 178 will do is get rid of the multiplier, thus creating a 1 for 1 credit scheme and turning our 30% renewable mandate into an actual 30% mandate.
As is typical for big change creating bills that consumers won’t like (see HB 1365), this bill was snuck in through the back door very late into the session. It creates some winners – like Xcel who has more renewable energy credits than it knows what to do with and the eco-crazy Left who wants to save the environment at all costs – and some big time losers – like the smaller investor owned utility companies like Black Hills and let’s not forget, CONSUMERS! Black Hills will have to buy even more renewable energy credits from Xcel to fulfill the larger mandate now and consumers are going to have pay big time for this new increased mandate.
The pro-178 side likes to pretend that increasing the mandate 20% is FREE environmentalism, but obviously, increasing the costs of providing energy to consumers INCREASES THE COST OF ENERGY FOR CONSUMERS! Duh.