Puc Opens Proceeding to Examine Electric Utility Retail Rates in Colorado

PHOTO PROVIDED BY POUDRE VALLEY REA.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Wednesday opened a proceeding to conduct a survey of electric public utility retail rates as specified in legislation approved last year.

Senate Bill 19-236 directed the PUC to open a proceeding to examine retail rates of electric utilities in Colorado, and specifically consider recommendations that would result in rate relief for certificated electric utility territories with retail rates materially greater than the state average. The PUC is required to file a report on its findings to the legislature by Feb. 1, 2021.

To complete the survey, PUC staff intends to issue survey questions to regulated electric utilities on basic cost, rate structure usage and demographic statistics, as well as survey questions on factors that may provide context and meaningful correlation with rates. Although rural electric cooperatives are excluded from the survey by statute, the PUC also will solicit voluntary survey responses from those entities and municipal utilities to provide a more complete picture of the state of electric retail rates in Colorado.

Data from survey responses and publicly available sources will be used to determine the average state retail rate and to develop a proposed definition for rates that qualify as “materially greater” than the state average.

PUC staff will solicit stakeholder input on the results of the survey, the proposed definition of “materially greater,” and rate relief options.

Commissioner Megan Gilman was designated as Hearing Commissioner and will work with PUC staff, stakeholders and other interested participants to collect and organize information required by statute.

Parties interested in participating in this proceeding are required to file a notice of participation by July 10. Individuals may also submit written comments by using the PUC’s online comment form at www.dora.state.co.us/pacific/puc/puccomments under proceeding number 20M-0251E.

Visit https://www.colorado.gov/dora/puc_legislation_implementation for updates on PUC proceedings related to 2019 legislation.

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About the PUC

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Colorado receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of our state.

About DORA

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.colorado.gov/dora for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675.