51st State Perspectives | Voices from Colorado’s Global Energy Settlement
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51st State Perspectives | Voices from Colorado’s Global Energy Settlement

  • What went on behind-the-scenes in the settlement
  • Insights from many of the 26 intervenors in the Colorado energy settlement
  • Perspectives from organizations like the Colorado Energy Office, COSEIA, Grid Alternatives, and others

The insider’s perspective: how Colorado achieved massive energy reform in a matter of weeks.

In the summer of 2016, representatives from Xcel Energy and 26 other intervenors in Colorado spent weeks inside a conference room negotiating the terms of a “global settlement” for three interlocking dockets on rate reform, solar market growth and renewable energy planning. The settlement, announced in August 2016, was quickly hailed as a historic achievement. Based on in-depth interviews with key participants, this report documents the human stories — and long days and nights — behind the settlement, and the participants’ determination to overcome long-standing divisiveness and distrust resulting from previous battles over net metering.

51st State market transformation principles at work in the real world.

The negotiations and their outcome can also be seen as a model for the core principles of energy market transformation developed by SEPA’s 51st State Initiative: efficiency, clearly defined roles, rate reform and customer choice. The oral history also underlines the essential role of broad and regular stakeholder engagement. A key takeaway noted by more than one participant is that complex regulatory proceedings may not be the best way to find compromise on the sensitive, interrelated issues that today’s fast-evolving technologies, customer demand and utility business models have produced.

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