Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Steamboat Springs Recently, the "Current Events" publication was mailed to all the owners/members of Yampa Valley Electric Association. Their leading issue in the last "Current Events" detailed the rising cost of electricity and the future cost of power.
Particularly interesting was YVEA's candor in making assertions that the quest for renewable energy in the geographic area that they serve - namely Routt, Moffat and parts of Rio Blanco and Eagle counties - is not feasible. They also state in their publication that wind and solar generation is not likely to become a major source of energy in their service area.
This perceived resistance to renewable energy seems to coincide with my observation of their policies that do not encourage locally produced renewable energy. This association should immediately poll their member/owners to determine if their member/owners have the same view as YVEA - namely, to resist a change to more renewable energy as being a good thing for environment.
Their policies currently do not allow their members to take advantage of Renewable Energy Credits that have been widely used throughout Colorado and the entire country. These credits materially cut the cost of capital investment for an individual who desires to install renewable energy equipment. Additionally, their net metering policy, where people who are connected to the YVEA grid can sell their excess renewable energy to the utility company and buy energy from them, may need a second look. YVEA currently discourages investment in alternative, renewable sources with their net metering pricing. They sell energy to the public at $0.056 per KWH (kilowatt hour) and buy from local renewable energy producers sources at only one-half of that rate.
It is essential the board of directors and management of YVEA set a sensible course for the utility. The question of whether the lowest cost to the consumer is the sole factor considered when formulating a policy ignores the consequences of global warming.
Let's find out with a referendum on their next election ballot in June!
Owner/member of YVEA
and renewable energy producer