If you are a PVREA member, the last envelope you got wasn’t a bill. It was an opportunity to make history.
It was a ballot, allowing you to choose the elected leadership of the co-op. In other words, the Board of Directors who will steer the course of PVREA toward a renewable future or keep on with business as usual – and higher rates.
By Hannah Miller, Colorado Renewable Energy Society[What you need to know for the coming month: Get our Comprehensive Monthly Calendar when you subscribe to North Forty News and New SCENE Magazine.]
PVREA is big. With more than 37,000 customers in three counties (Boulder, Larimer, and Weld), the decisions that PVREA board members make are very large scale: multiple power plants, running off gas, solar, wind, coal…
The Board of Directors makes decisions that have generational impacts. And since Coloradans are already beginning to see the impacts of climate change with fires and a 500-year flood, there’s no time to lose in going full speed ahead with renewables.
PVREA has made steps in the right direction. Although currently, those more than 37,000 home and business customers are turning their lights on primarily with coal and gas, PVREA has opened two solar gardens in the last three years and allows customers to “net meter,” which means they can make their own solar or wind energy and sell it to the grid.
The electrical system, which has not changed technologically since the 1970s, is slow to transition. The importance of switching from fossil fuels to renewables – affirmed by 72 percent of Coloradans in a 2012 poll – will have positive impacts on our air, our water, our power prices, and more. But it has to happen fast, and it needs the support of knowledgeable leadership in the area of renewables.
We need a PVREA Board that understands the urgency of this and wants to try new ways of tapping Colorado’s tremendous reserves of renewable energy. There are four candidates running for the board who have a track record of intelligent and innovative work with renewable energy.
Roger Alexander is an incumbent who has been promoting clean energy and energy efficiency measures during his six-year tenure. Steve Szabo has been a leader in PVREA membership for several years, pushing for transparency and renewable measures that would lower rates. Szabo is a farmer and veteran – he retired after 25 years in telecom, including rebuilding AT&T’s infrastructure after 9-11. Szabo is one of a group of challengers that include Sivea Key and Don Morris, who are running for board positions on this platform:
• Promote local energy generation that will create jobs for our community
• Work toward rate and facility charge stabilization
• Develop cost-effective sustainable clean energy solutions
• Develop disaster recovery plans to minimize outage time
It’s your vote – make a difference. Ballots need to be returned by March 20, or members can vote at the Annual Meeting on March 28. For more information or to obtain a ballot, please go to www.pvrea.com.