BOULDER, Colo. –

Xcel Energy is continuing its push to make Boulder the world’s first “smart grid” city, and is hosting a two-day event to introduce the public to the technology.

Xcel representatives and green-technology experts will be on hand to explain the plans from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Saturday. The event is being held at a home at 626 17th Street in Boulder.

Namaste Solar will offer demonstrations of how a solar systems works inside the house, and talk about the way solar energy in homes works with the new smart grid. Boulder Car Share, Hybrids Plus and Rocky Mountain Segway will have electric vehicles and segways on display.

Archived comments

Great … another DC advertorial. Pimps.


3/13/2009 7:59:14 AM

Ohh yes, Boulder can be proud. The Worlds First Smart Grid, powered by the burning of Coal. Bravo! Built to power pretentious toys and allow residents to finally feel smug about it. Hybrid and Segway scooters, how progressive. So rather than invest the “hundreds of millions” this apparently cost Excel ( a complete lie because it was merely an equipment upgrade that took place years ago) on actual Smart Power solutions, this was merely the token PR gesture made to prevent the people of Boulder from choosing where they get their power.

Excel Energy is about as interested in renewable energy as the banking industry is about regulation. Hey look over here, allow me to distract you with a puppy.


3/13/2009 9:03:28 AM

Why so negative?

Wait until you get your electric bill come August.The state is going to approve a tiered power usage billing system for Xcel.Now don’t think this will just be punitive to those very large homes, wasting all that energy.The tiered system is designed to charge the average user a larger KW/hr. fee, and go upward from there.It is just a way for Xcel to make more money in these times of user conservation and those darn CFL bulbs.

Water departments across the state have implemented a tiered billing system as well, again they were losing revenue because after the drought years of 2000-02, water consumers got very good at conservation(encouraged by who else?), of course that meant less water taken, dropping revenues.So, let’s punish the consumer for their conservation efforts!


3/13/2009 9:21:37 AM

The tiered billing means the less you use the more added fees they add! These means the same bill for less used energy! Woo they really make out on this!


3/13/2009 10:23:59 AM

Xcel has come a long way since back in 1977 when citizens were forced to intervene in one of PSCo’s many rate cases and showed PSCo and the PUC the advantages of strategic planning and investments in demand side management.Unfortunately, the lessons were squandered and it wasn’t until Amendment 37, work that many in this community have done, and the appointment of a progressive PUC that Xcel “got religion.”Yes, they will attempt to maximize their profit, which is up to the PUC to keep under control.

Compare what they’ve accomplished in the past 5 years with the record of neighboring rural electric associations like PVREA and IREA.Progress there on net metering, solar rebates, efficiency improvements has been grudging at best, spurred only by activists who have campaigned for the few reforms.PVREA agreed to true net metering only after activists brought in experts to educate the REA board and after customers demonstrated to the engineering staff that they’d make their accounting easier and cheaper by instituting it.When the Governor’s Energy Office offered rebate funding to REA customers, customers needed to ask PVREA to apply for the funding.In the meantime, the incumbent board has done no effective oversight of their electric wholesaler, Tri-State G&T, rather signing up for 50 more years of king coal.

PVREA members have campaigned for new leadership on the PVREA board for several years, but incumbents have a huge advantage.A board of directors election campaign is closer to a proxy fight than it is a free and open election of a democratically controlled cooperative.This year, the incumbent, renewable-unfriendly, coal-embracing board has even proposed a “poison pill” which will allow the majority of the board to downsize the board and drop up to 4 newly elected members without a new election.This provision is buried in 4 pages of innocuous “technical” changes and people who read the ballot have been justifiably confused, often voting for it despite how it will disenfranchise them and may nullify their vote.

Three candidates seek to balance the point of view of the current 11 member board.Steve Szabo, Roger Alexander, and Jan Peterson.PVREA members who haven’t yet submitted their ballots are invited to cast their votes for these three renewable, efficiency, and reliability advocates.Also, please vote NO on the proposed amendments to the Articles of Incorporation.Dig your ballot out of recycle if you didn’t realize how important it might be.Or attend the Annual Meeting and vote there at The Ranch at the Larimer County fairgrounds, March 28th.

3/13/2009 11:55:23 AM

I would LOVE to be an Xcel customer. Unfortunately, I get my electricity from PVREA and therefore do NOT have the option of being part of the Smart Grid, or of getting the fabulous rebates for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy that Xcel customers get.

Almost half of all Coloradoans get their electricity from REAs and municipal utilities, none of which are regulated by the PUC. In fact, there is no real oversight of these entities at all. REA boards tend to be extremely conservative and unfriendly to change of any kind, and they are exempt from Amendment 37!

It’s easy to sit here on the Daily Camera blog and snipe at companies who have been forced into doing the right thing. It’s another thing altogether to get out there and DO SOMETHING to make MORE utilities do the right thing!

Think globally and act locally by joining PV Pioneers ( Help us get our candidates elected to the board. After all, our emissions affect all Coloradoans!


3/13/2009 12:37:13 PM

@starskyandgut – Well said. No coincidence that this happened just as we were about to vote on whether to create a municipal power system.

@editors – A press release about an open house is not an event. Bought and sold.


3/13/2009 3:27:21 PM

DC – this article is completely misleading. I went to the so-called event and didn’t see anything about the smart grid. Yes, there was a plugin electric vehicle parked in the drive (behind other non-electric ones) but not plugged in, a few hybrid bikes parked amongst the cars (not seemingly available for test ride), namaste solar, hybrid bikes, and carshare with tables set up much like the Boulder Creek Fest, and the unfinished house open with finishing plans from the spec developer (the house is being sold for $1.8M). Nothing in the house indicated anything “smart”, and no one pointing out any smart features… just the developer talking about the house layout. This was a con by the house developer/builder taking advantage of the Boulder public’s interest in energy efficiency to get potential buyers in… and you helped us fall for it.


3/14/2009 11:58:33 AM

I guess the great depression had a great deal of natural energy sources, today the current initial depression has great technologies instead. It is likely that this moment is the last chance to survive as the environment to invest in a new energy base is going to be getting worse down the road.

I would love to suggest’A Global Green New Deal’ and stress only two recent progresses:

1. Researchers at MIT have designed a new battery that can recharge devices about 100 times faster than conventional lithium ion batteries. The design could lead to electric car batteries that charge in 5 minutes

2. Breakthrough Spin Battery Size of Hair Could Run Electric Car For Miles:

the actual device has a diameter of a human hair, the energy that could be stored in it could potentially run a car for miles.

Physicists at the University of Miami and Tokyo and Tohoku have invented a radical new type of battery in the laboratory. The profound findings were published in the journal Nature.

As the oil reserve declines,even the oil-rich UAE is committed to renewable energy movement, which is also in the oil-producing countries’ interest, even if they keep silent,accordingly they will not keep the oil price low in the long term,I suppose. And G20 & OPEC meetings might indicate that ‘a global green new deal’ is going tobe a solution as the energy is both life and common ground for world-wide economic prosperity.



3/15/2009 6:29:26 PM