Common Questions

Who will the initiative affect?

Most every Coloradan will benefit! YES on 37 will require utilities serving over 40,000 customers to generate or purchase a percent of electricity from renewable sources. The states largest utilities include Xcel, Aquila, Fort Collins Utilities, Colorado Springs Utilities, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, United Power, and Holy Cross

Who supports the initiative?

This is a uniquely bi-partisan effort. Our co-chairs are Speaker of the House Lola Spradley, a Republican from Pueblo West, and Congressman Mark Udall, a Democrat from Eldorado Springs. Endorsers include the American Lung Association, farmers, veterans, businesses, conservationists, you name it.

Won’t this cost more? Who pays?

NO! Not only is renewable energy comparable to fossil fuels now, in some cases it’s cheaper. The DOE says new electricity generated from wind is cheaper than coal or natural gas right now. And as the technology for renewables improves their cost will go down as the cost of finite fossil fuels continues to rise. Finally, no matter what you hear, in a highly unlikely “worst case” scenario the cost of this initiative is capped at 50 cents a month ($6 a year) for residential customers…it’s the LAW. For business customers the rate cap is about 1%. NO ADDITIONAL COSTS CAN BE SHIFTED TO BUSINESS.

Won’t business get stuck with the tab?

NO! That’s another BIG lie being told by another BIG corporation. Under Colorado law it is illegal to charge different kinds of customers differently. It’s discrimination and it’s illegal—and Xcel knows it.

Aren’t we already doing this? Do we really need a mandate.

I wish the propaganda were true. We only get 2% of our electricity from renewables – that doesn’t make sense for a state like ours with such great wind and solar potential. The August 23 Fortune Magazine’s cover story calls for the U.S to “Kick the Oil Habit.” As part of a four point plan, it calls for every state to adopt a 10% Renewable Energy Standard immediately.

NOTE: A mandate was imposed in Texas by then Governor Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger is looking to increase the California mandate above 20%.

Doesn’t Xcel have plans to build more?

I’ll believe it when I see it. Remember, this initiative covers ALL the big utilities, not just Xcel. It’s important to remember that Xcel was forced to develop the Lamar wind farm as the “least cost energy” by the PUC, it wasn’t done voluntarily.

Isn’t solar too expensive?

Solar is the best investment we can make in energy security. Solar power kicks in when we need it most – on hot, sunny days when air conditioners are running and utilities are scrambling to buy extra power to meet demand. Adding solar power makes us more secure and stable.

Doesn’t wind power kill birds?

NO. New designs do not pose a problem for our feathered friends. But don’t believe us, believe the Audubon Society–they’ve endorsed YES on 37.

Why is it only 10%?

We’re only at 2% now and we need to get started somewhere. This modest proposal is voter friendly and this level will have NO impact on the grid.

I already pay extra for wind on my utility bill. Will I have to pay more for this?

Good for you. You’re a front runner, this initiative will help the rest of the state catch up to where you already are. The good news is that under #37 it won’t be an extra cost like WindSource is. In fact, we believe Xcel should reduce the cost it charges customers for Windsource to more accurately reflect the cheaper cost of wind!

Is this achievable?

Yes. Even Xcel says so.

Isn’t this more complicated than supporters let on?

There’s nothing complex about 10% by 2015 that won’t raise bills more than 50 cents a month.