Coal Power Retirement

This May 6, 2013 file photo shows a wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. Electrical utility PacifiCorp plans to move faster away from coal-fired power while getting more juice from the sun and wind, the company announced Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.

The state’s Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday announced its intent to conduct a survey of utilities’ retail electric rates in compliance with 2019 legislation.

Senate Bill 236 mandates that the PUC survey rates of public utilities, excluding cooperatives, and issue recommendations for how to reduce the electric rates in areas of the state that are “materially greater” than the state average. The commission must also define what “materially greater” means. The PUC must report back to the legislature by Feb. 1, 2021.

The survey will collect information about demographics and the structure of rates. Rural cooperatives will be asked to voluntarily respond to create a broader data set for the state.

Entities that wish to participate need to notify the PUC by July 10 or submit online comments using proceeding identifier 20M-0251E.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that in 2018, the average monthly residential energy bill in Colorado was $83.90. This was lower than the Mountain West’s average of $101.55. Arizona and Nevada were the only states in the region with average bills in excess of $100.

The monthly residential average for the U.S. as a whole was $117.65, with the Pacific Coast, upper Midwest and Mountain West regions falling below the average.

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