Colorado Springs Utilities sitting on too much cash, forced to cut electric rates
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Sustainable, affordable and reliable energy is among the chief priorities for Colorado Springs Utilities as the organization develops its vision statement for the coming decades.

But Utilities needs help in refining that statement, called its Energy Vision, said spokeswoman Amy Trinidad. So ratepayers are invited to take an online survey about proposed statements and to offer their thoughts at an open house Thursday.

The Utilities department’s last Energy Vision was developed in the early 2000s, Trinidad said, and outlined the goal of providing 20 percent of the organization’s electricity using renewable sources without raising rates more than 1 percent. That goal was partially met last year.

Now it’s time to look to the future again, Trinidad said. The Energy Vision — which should be presented to the utility’s board of directors next month and approved in June — will set that compass direction.

“It’s kind of a ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” Trinidad said.

More specific details surrounding how to achieve that vision will be addressed in Utilities’ more labor intensive “electric-integrated resource plan” and “natural gas integrated resource plan,” Trinidad said. The development of those plans will begin after the Energy Vision is finalized. The electric plan, EIRP for short, should be complete by August 2020.

The last EIRP was completed in 2016 and directs that the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant be shuttered no later than 2035, among other things.

A customer survey at csu.org/energyvision asks ratepayers to rank four proposed statements:

“Deliver clean, sustainable energy that adds value to customers’ lives, contributes to the prosperity of the community and enhances our quality of life for generations to come.”

“Supply exceptional electric and natural gas service to all customers that achieves safety, reliability, economy, and environmental sustainability.”

“Deliver clean, reliable, innovative and fiscally responsible energy solutions that drive a strong economy, sustainably complement our natural resources, and withstand and recover from disturbances.”

“Provide resilient, reliable and cost-effective energy that is environmentally sustainable, reducing our carbon footprint and using state-of-the-art technologies.”

The online survey closes Sunday. The public is also invited to attend an open house seeking additional input on the Energy Vision. That open house will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway.

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