Boulder Chamber Supports Xcel Franchise Agreement

This fall, voters will determine whether the City of Boulder and Xcel Energy enter into a franchise agreement, which would end the decade-long municipalization effort for a city-run, community-owned electric utility. The Boulder Chamber supports this proposed franchise agreement between the City of Boulder and Xcel Energy.

“The Boulder Chamber has always urged Xcel and the City of Boulder to pursue a collaborative approach to achieving our climate protection and clean energy goals, believing it would offer a more efficient and effective path forward than the current litigious confrontation over municipalization of the electric energy system,” said Boulder Chamber President and CEO John Tayer. “After much deliberation by our policy committee and Board of Directors, we’re convinced that the proposed franchise agreement is worthy of support from our business community and clean energy advocates alike, providing both an exciting opportunity for local innovation along with the benefits of a supportive partnership with Xcel.”

The expense and timing of the municipalization effort was a key consideration in the Boulder Chamber’s position, as well as the demonstrated commitment of Xcel Energy to meeting the City of Boulder’s clean energy goals. The City has expended $25M funding municipalization and is still years away from providing clean energy to meet Boulder’s climate goals. The proposed agreement with Xcel includes several key progress metrics, including 80% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 and emission check-ins in 2022, 2024 and 2027. Boulder will have the ability to vote to end the franchise at will in 2026, 2031 and 2036. The City may also end the franchise in 2023, 2025 and 2028 if Xcel fails to meet agreed greenhouse gas reduction metrics by the end of the previous year.

“The Boulder Chamber believes the sustainability of our economy depends on the development and application of clean energy innovations, such as the further proliferation of wind and solar power, as well as smart-grid systems,” Tayer said. “At the same time, advancements in these types of technologies and the pursuit of new mechanisms for delivering electric services must adhere to critical business demands for price competitiveness and reliability. The proposed franchise agreement sets us on that balanced course. Vote yes on 2C!”

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