by Institute for Energy Research
Some lawmakers in Colorado want to increase the cost of electricity for all Coloradans, especially those in rural areas. Awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature, SB 252 would require rural electric cooperatives to dramatically increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources to 25 percent by 2020, up from the current mandate of 10 percent. This portends unambiguously higher electricity rates for Coloradans.
Electric co-ops in Colorado serve about 25 percent of the population in predominantly rural areas that span 70 percent of the state’s land. By mandating the purchase of more renewables, SB 252 would force co-ops to increase electricity generation costs. Tri-State G&T estimates SB 252 would cost its 18 member co-ops as much as $4 billion by 2020. In addition, one study found the current RPS will raise electricity rates by as much as 64 percent and destroy up to 29,000 jobs by 2015.