As the electric power franchise with Xcel ends, Boulder wishes to create a municipal utility, with Lafayette also considering going down this path — progress indeed!
Before Xcel, the locally owned utility Public Service Company was very personable to its customers. However, it merged into New Century Energies, and latter into Xcel, which covers several states and is based in Minnesota. While horizontal integration may be good in some markets, it is not in energy distribution in this day and age — consider the increase of local power generation with backyard wind generators and rooftop solar panels.
Large corporations such as Xcel frown on individual roof solar panels to generate salable excess energy back to the utility, as a muni would; they would rather be the sole providers of energy. Energy mega-corporations base their business model on large coal-fired plants, and when purporting "green" (but actually green-noir) energy, it is most always from large solar farms built on disrupted ecosystems on tax-exempt pristine public land. As an example, consider Solar Millenium, near Ridgcrest, Calif. They unsuccessfully wanted virgin Bureau of Land Management desert rather than lease unused, disturbed, taxable land in nearby California City.
Munis are a natural progression for cities following the science and technology trend to become more independent, just as individuals become more independent with smart devices and apps. Xcel and other mega-energy corporations are holding onto old technology and want you to do the same. Several cities have successful municipal utilities, e.g., Seattle, Austin, Palo Alto, Longmont and Colorado Springs. They serve their communities well, generating smaller utility bills than from monopolies, where the focus is on corporate profits. Minneapolis, the home office of Xcel, is also considering creating a muni as they watch our battle with Xcel.
To thwart our munis, Xcel is interfering with the elections in both Lafayette and Boulder through two front groups: Supporters of the Lafayette Franchise and Voter Approval of Debt Limits. Xcel recently injected $300K more into the Boulder election to "level the playing field" for negative adds and muni misinformation with numerous full-page ads to promote issue 310, with origins pointing back to them. It will severely interfere with Boulder funding to acquire the electric power infrastructure.
Please vote for the future and support municipalization by voting NO on 310 and YES on 2E in Boulder for the fall election, and vote NO on 2A and YES on 301 in Lafayette.