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O_JSCRUR_2023A 03/14/2023 02:08:35 PM Committee Summary

Date 03/14/2023
Cutter X
Kirkmeyer X
Lynch X
Martinez X
deGruy Kennedy *
Fenberg X
Time 02:08:35 PM to 05:40:10 PM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Fenberg
This Report was prepared by Nina Forbes
Hearing Items Action Taken
Panel Presentation from Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy Committee Discussion Only
Panel Presentation from Atmos Energy and Colorado Natural Gas Committee Discussion Only
Panel Presentation from Colorado Rural Electric Association, Holy Cross Energy, CORE Electric Cooperative, and Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities Committee Discussion Only

02:08:37 PM
Chair Fenberg gave opening remarks for the meeting and what the meeting will consist of.

Panel Presentation from Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy - Committee Discussion Only

02:10:48 PM  
Robert Kenney, President
Public Services Company (PSCo), and Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Regional
Vice President, State Affairs and Community Relations, PSCo, with Xcel
Energy gave a presentation (Attachment A) on Xcel Energy and rising utility
rates. Their presentation included information on net-zero energy goals,
residential bill national comparisons, winter bill trends, energy assistance,
how Xcel has been giving back to the community, and policy ideas.
02:20:50 PM  
Nick Wagner, Vice
President of Colorado Regulatory Affairs and Policy, and Kellie Ashcraft,
Vice President of Colorado Operations, with Black Hills Energy gave their
presentation (Attachment B). Their presentation provided information on
their operations in Colorado, why energy bills are higher this year, priorities
for Black Hills, their winter ready campaign, and support for their customers.
02:30:32 PM  
The committee started
the question and answer portion of the panel. The committee asked questions
on the following topics:

the cost of implementing legislation that has been passed regarding renewable

the data and charts in Xcel's presentation and how Colorado legislation
and prices compare to others;

how much the customer is paying for the legislation that is being passed;

the savings associated with clean energy;

how the investments made by Xcel are funded;

the balance of investments, public interests, and the company's interest;

the amount of money spent on fees for rate change cases brought to the
Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and incentives for Xcel to keep the cost

the last time Xcel has been denied a rate change from the PUC;

how the companies recover litigation fees and the impact on the customer;

the accountability and transparency of utility companies in the rate change

how the utilities can lower costs of rate cases;

public interest in the rate making process;

lobbying as it pertains to the General Assembly and how it is funded;

what gets included in rates;

incentives to help customers;

strategies to protect vulnerable customers/rate payers;

rate reform strategies;

justification of the return on equity and the unique model of being a natural

what the utilities imply by investing profits into infrastructure;

where money for investments comes from;

how much is going into profits versus the rate;

the operation of the PUC;

the relation of all time high of customers needing assistance and utilities
making all time high profits;

if the return on equity is going down how are profits going up;

what is the cause for the profit margins;

how utilities make projections for down the road;

meeting clean energy goals, reliability, and decreasing usage;

federal funding and how it can be applied;

investment on storage and prohibiting factors;

what customers can do for assistance; and

implications of planning, forecasting, and the impact on future generations.

Panel Presentation from Atmos Energy and Colorado Natural Gas - Committee Discussion Only

04:11:16 PM  
Angela Monroe, Director
of Regulatory Affairs, and Mark Davidson, Director, Fairfield and Woods
P.C., with Colorado Natural Gas gave a presentation to the committee (Attachment
C). The presentation included information on how customers can get support,
educating customers, current projections, and rate history.
04:21:18 PM  
Ken Fogle, the Vice
President of Marketing for Atmos Energy, Kansas and Colorado Division,
introduced himself and began his presentation. Mr. Fogle went over Atmos'
service area, the cost of natural gas increasing, giving customers informtaion
to keep bills down and be energy efficient, payment plans offered to customers,
and working with Energy Outreach Colorado.
04:25:10 PM  
The committee asked
the panel a number of questions including on what impacts rates, oversight
of rates, maintaining and updating infrastructure, maintaining rural and
remote areas, Coloradans for Energy Access funding, lobbying, and efforts
to address emissions.

Panel Presentation from Colorado Rural Electric Association, Holy Cross Energy, CORE Electric Cooperative, and Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities - Committee Discussion Only

04:40:14 PM  
Kent Singer, Executive
Director, with Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA) gave a handout
to the committee (Attachment D) and gave an overview of how CREA operates,
how it is regulated as a cooperative utility, who is involved in CREA,
rate increases, diversity of generation, and Tri-State not having any rate
04:44:53 PM  
Jeff Boudier, CEO
of CORE Electric Cooperative, gave an overview of how CORE operates as
a utility, how members have a say and can get elected to the board, how
Xcel rates impact the co-op, ways in which CORE is addressing utility rates,
coal plants owned by Xcel, problems CORE is facing, technology being used,
the advance pay program, and reliability and cutting costs.

04:53:11 PM  
Bryan Hannegan, President
and CEO, with Holy Cross Energy gave an overview of their not-for-profit
status, goals of the organization, clean and renewable energy use, implications
and outcomes of using clean energy, modernizing the grid, investments in
infrastructure, not having a rate increase since 2018, having a diverse
clean energy portfolio, work force, needs for the organization, the first
rate increase the organization has had in years, and how the organization
is addressing rising rates.
05:03:44 PM  
Daniel Hodges, Executive Director of Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities (CAMU), gave an overview of municipal utilities and how they operate. Mr. Hodges gave information on the legislative authority given, why municipal utilities are not overseen by the PUC, rates and profits of the enterprise, the survey of utility bills, their price comparisons against cooperatives and investor owned utilities, and challenges faced.
05:18:07 PM  
The committee asked the panel questions about wildfire preparation, how big decisions are made in each of the organizations, borrowing money, running energy efficiency programs, performance based standards, water issues and CORE having to move offices, and why these organizations are more efficient.

05:39:30 PM
Chair Fenberg gave
closing remarks.

05:40:10 PM   The committee adjourned.

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