September 20, 2011
Dear Mayor Weitkunat, Mayor Pro-Tem Ohlson, Councilmembers Manvel, Poppaw, Kottwitz, Troxell, and Horak:
I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend the work session on electric rate options last Tuesday evening. However, the Fort Collins Sustainability Group is disappointed that Council wasn’t able to give direction to the Utilities Department to proceed with developing its recommended rate change proposals at that time. We are glad to see that the next work session on this issue will take place on October 11th, and hope that you are able to give Utilities the appropriate direction at the conclusion of that meeting.
We believe that it is important to distinguish between the three important goals of the proposed electric rate changes that you discussed on Tuesday, those being:
1. To help reduce electric energy use by Ft. Collins Utilities customers by 1.5% per year through 2020,
2. To help reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 20% with respect to the 2005 baseline by 2020, and
3. To avoid or postpone the need for the PRPA to build additional generating capacity.
A tiered residential electric rate best addresses the first two goals listed above because it sends a clear price signal to customers to conserve energy and/or use energy more efficiently. It should also provide a source of funds for incentivizing the installation of efficiency upgrades. A time-of-use electric rate best addresses the third goal because it sends a clear price signal to customers to avoid using electric energy when system load approaches peak generating capacity.
The following table provides a list of measures residential customers might take in response to each rate type. Note that this letter is attached to the e-message in PDF form, in case the table is not readable in the e-message.