Regional News Briefs
SWEEP Welcomes Two New Staffers
SWEEP is pleased to announce that two new staff members have joined SWEEP’s Utility and Transportation Programs.
Justin Brant is a new Senior Associate in SWEEP’s Utility Program, where his duties include research on utility energy efficiency policy and programs, participating in public utility commission proceedings, and collaborating with utilities, business and consumer groups, and other stakeholders. Before joining SWEEP, he worked at The Cadmus Group, a nationwide energy and environmental consulting firm. Earlier, he was Assistant Director of the Electric Power Division at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
Matt Frommer is a new Senior Associate in SWEEP’s Transportation Program, where he focuses on electric vehicle policy and EV-grid integration. Matt received a Master of Environmental Science in Sustainable Planning and Management from the University of Colorado in 2017, where he also completed a capstone project with Rocky Mountain Institute’s Mobility Transportation team. Earlier, he worked as an architect and city planner, specializing in urban mixed-used and residential projects both in the United States and internationally.
Trade Press Reports on ACC's Decision Re: IRPs of Investor-Owned Utilities
What did leading industry news media say about the Arizona Corporations Commission’s decision re: TEP, APS & UNSE integrated resource plans?
Settlement Agreement Reached in Xcel Energy DSM Strategic Issues Docket
On February 26th, a Comprehensive Settlement Agreement was submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by most of the parties participating in the Demand-Side Management (DSM) Strategic Issues docket concerning Xcel Energy. This docket establishes energy savings and peak demand reduction goals, financial incentives for the utility, and other key policies affecting Xcel Energy’s energy efficiency and demand response programs. The Settlement Agreement recommends continuing the current energy savings goal of 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year for an additional five years (2019-2023). The Settlement Agreement also proposes new performance-based financial incentives that would reward Xcel Energy for exceeding the energy savings goal and penalize the utility if it fails to reach the goal.
SWEEP played a prominent role in negotiating the Settlement Agreement with Xcel Energy, the Staff of the Colorado PUC, consumer advocates, and other stakeholders. While representing a compromise on some issues, SWEEP fully supports the Agreement and urges the Colorado PUC to approve it. In particular, the Settlement Agreement contains higher energy savings goals than those initially proposed by Xcel Energy, Staff of the PUC and the Office of Consumer Counsel. The PUC will review the Settlement Agreement and make its decision in the docket in the next few months.
Xcel Energy is the main electric and gas utility in Colorado serving about 1.4 million customers. In a recent ACEEE Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Xcel Energy Colorado was tied for 10th place in the ranking of energy efficiency policies and programs for the 51 largest electric utilities in the nation.
Electric Transportation Forum
Check out the KTVN-Channel 2 news story about SWEEP's recent NV electric forum, including a snowstorm interview with SWEEP's Will Toor and a calmer but still outdoor discussion with state Sen. Patricia Spearman, who sponsored important energy efficiency legislation last year. The one-minute newscast also describes the value of the eight-state (including NV) agreement to create charging stations along 7,000 miles of interstate highways.
SWEEP Study Shows How Boulder County, CO, Can Encourage Electric Car Use
SWEEP has just published a new study done for Boulder County, “Electrifying Transportation: Boulder County’s Clean Future.” The report focuses on how the County can advance electric vehicle adoption in the county fleet, by employees, and by County residents.
SWEEP’s study identified top County government locations where charging stations should be installed to support adoption of EVs by both its fleet and its employees, and analyzed the costs and benefits of charging infrastructure and electric vehicles. It also outlined a number of actions the County could take to accelerate EV adoption in the general population.
Nevada PUC Proposes Rules for Utility EV Plans
On January 22, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) issued proposed regulations on the implementation of Nevada Senate Bill 145, which in part required NV Energy to develop a plan to support transportation electrification.
Highlights from the regulations include:
Allocating $15 million towards incentives for electric vehicle charging stations;
Requiring NV Energy to prioritize fast charging along highways, as well as the conversion of buses and other heavy-duty vehicles to electric vehicles;
Allowing NV Energy to own and operate fast-charging stations along highways, with the potential to own and operate stations in other areas (such as apartments) where there is a demonstrated need.
SWEEP submitted joint comments with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and Western Resources Advocates during the development of the regulations, and looks forward to working with the PUCN and NV Energy on the development of an EV Plan. SWEEP also supported passage of SB 145.
Read NV SB 145 here.
Colorado Details Bold Goals for Encouraging Electric Vehicle Purchases and Use
Colorado released details on its bold goals for encouraging electric vehicle purchases and use in the state, as part of a broader effort to reduce air pollution including greenhouse gas emissions. The announcement came after months of gathering public comments and ideas.
On January 24, 2018, in Denver, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper released the final version, and details, about the state’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) Plan. The plan lays out ambitious goals around EV adoption and charging station deployment, and articulates strategies to meet each goal.
Perhaps the most important goal in the plan is to go from about 13,000 EVs in Colorado at the end of 2017 to 940,000 by 2030. This shift would save Colorado consumers over $500 million per year in fuel costs. It also would also drive down electricity rates, saving utility customers an estimated $50 million per year.
Other goals outlined in the plan include:
Coordinate efforts with other Mountain West states to make regional travel with an EV convenient;
Develop partnerships with electric utilities to support deployment and greater utilization of fast chargers;
Go from 36 electric transit vehicles in 2017 to 500 by 2030; and
More than triple the number of EVs in the state fleet by 2020.
SWEEP provided input during the development of the plan, and looks forward to working with the state on the policies, programs and investments that will be needed to achieve these goals.
Great Op-ed - Why Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Could Hurt Thousands of CO Energy Jobs
Colorado Politics/ Colorado Statesman today published a great op-ed from our partner group, the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition:
Proposed federal budget cuts endanger thousands of well-paying clean energy jobs in Colorado. Colorado’s diverse energy sector includes more than 30,000 jobs involving energy efficiency, more than any other part of the energy sector (more than solar and wind, oil, natural gas, or coal), according to a 2017 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Yet the Trump administration and the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed devastating cuts (more than 40 percent in the House budget, 75 percent cuts in the administration’s budget) to these energy efficiency programs that benefit Colorado in the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2018.
SWEEP helped in researching and placing the opinion piece.
Two Great News Stories on Electric Cars Feature SWEEP
Two recent, in-depth stories about growing interest in clean, electric vehicles featured SWEEP's transportation experts. Find out more: