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I_IOU_2019A 08/22/2019 08:02:33 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
INTERIM COMMITTEE  INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITY REVIEW INTERIM STUDY COMMITTEE
Date 08/22/2019
Attendance
Larry Atencio X
Geitner X
Jennifer Gremmert X
Terry Hart X
Hisey X
Hooton X
Larry Miloshevich X
Kurt Morrison X
Rodriguez X
Anne Stattelman X
Emily Tracy X
Brooke Trammell X
Kennedy X
Garcia X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Time 08:02:33 AM to 03:35:02 PM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Senator Garcia
This Report was prepared by Katie Ruedebusch
Hearing Items Action Taken
Presentation from the Colorado Energy Office Committee Discussion Only
Presentation from the Public Utilities Commission Committee Discussion Only
Presentation from Colorado's Investor-owned Utilities Committee Discussion Only
Panel on Consumer Choice Committee Discussion Only
Presentation on Energy Assistance Programs Committee Discussion Only
Public Testimony Committee Discussion Only
Interim Bill Draft Requests and Discussion Interim Bill Drafts Approved

08:02:36 AM

President Garcia, chair, made opening remarks.



Presentation from the Colorado Energy Office - Committee Discussion Only


08:04:08 AM  
Mr. Keith Hay, representing the Colorado Energy Office, came to the table to provide an overview of the Colorado Energy office, the energy landscape in Colorado, and energy rates.
08:05:25 AM  
Mr. Hay continued by discussing Colorado's state energy goals and the office's role in addressing reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
08:07:05 AM  

Mr. Hay continued by providing information on the source of electrical generation in Colorado and on renewable energy trends.

08:10:29 AM  
Mr. Hay continued by discussing recent legislation effecting the energy sector, electric vehicle growth, and emerging technology.
08:17:30 AM  

Mr. Hay continued by discussing electricity rates in Colorado and national trends. He also discusssed traditional rate design.

08:25:30 AM  

Mr. Hart highlighted several rate design options such as flat energy charge, inclining block rate, time-of-use, critical peak price, peak time rebate, and real-time price.

08:28:52 AM  
Mr. Hay answered several questions regarding renewable energy.
08:32:44 AM  
Mr. Hay answered several questions regarding critical peak price metering and time-of-use metering.



Presentation from the Public Utilities Commission - Committee Discussion Only


08:35:12 AM  

Mr. Gene Camp, Deputy Director of Fixed Utilities and Chief Engineer of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), came to the table to discuss the PUC's work and the regulation of the investor-owned utilities in Colorado.

08:38:33 AM  

Mr. Camp continued by discussing rate determination and structure.  He noted that rate determination a reasonable rate of return on investment for utilities.

08:40:58 AM  

Mr. Camp discussed Xcel Energy's time-of-use pilot.  Mr. Camp noted that Black Hills Energy will not be starting a time-of-use pilot at this time.

08:43:36 AM  
Mr. Camp answered a question concerning advanced metering infrastructure and noted that they are considered investments and included in part of the rate base.
08:46:20 AM  
Mr. Camp continued to answer several questions regarding investments in infrastructure by utilities.
08:51:56 AM  

Mr. Camp continued by highlighting the PUC's authority in statute to audit investor-owned utilities in Colorado.

08:52:28 AM  

Mr. Camp continued by discussing the statutes and rules governing annual reporting by investor-owned utilities to the PUC.  He also noted that some reporting is recived by the commission through rate cases or that the commission may require extra reporting on large infrastructure investments.

09:08:00 AM  

Mr. Camp discussed disconnect and reconnect reports that are received quarterly and noted that staff looks for trends in these reports.

09:09:16 AM  
Mr. Camp answered questions regarding a recent sensitivity analysis and energy resource plans.
09:13:03 AM  
Mr. Camp continued by discussing electric vehicle deployment plans.
09:15:41 AM  
Mr. Camp continued by discussing battery deployment plans for investor-owned utilities.
09:17:41 AM  
Mr. Camp answered a question regarding investor-owned utilities and the authority to deploy batteries.
09:23:59 AM  

Mr. Camp continued by discussing municipal exit fees and noted that PUC and FERC both have jurisdiction on aspects of exit fees.

09:28:31 AM  
Mr. Camp continued by discussing the PUC's authority of independent power producers.
09:28:52 AM  
Mr. Camp continued by discussing community choice aggregation.
09:29:29 AM  
Mr. Camp noted that it would require a change in law to allow local governments to procure power on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts from an alternative supplier.
09:30:40 AM  

Mr. Camp answered questions regarding the public's participation in PUC rate cases.  Ms. Tracy, a member of the committee, distributed a handout [Attachment A].

09:35:40 AM  

In response to committee questions, Mr. Camp stated that most advertising and lobbying expenses are not included in the rate base, but some safety program advertising costs are allowed.  He also discussed the interpretation of absolute necessity.



Presentation from Colorado's Investor-owned Utilities - Committee Discussion Only


09:53:20 AM  

Mr. Jack Ihle, representing Xcel Energy, came to the table to provide information on Xcel Energy's operations in Colorado and it's initiatives and goals.  He distributed a copy of his presentation to the committee [Attachment B].

09:56:18 AM  
Mr. Ihle continued by discussing Xcel's clean energy transition.
09:57:36 AM  
In response to committee questions, Mr. Ihle discussed Xcel's recent gas filing.
09:58:46 AM  
Mr. Ihle continued by discussing renewable energy options for customers.
10:03:34 AM  
Mr. Ihle continued by discussing Xcel Energy's low income and energy assistance programs.
10:08:23 AM  
Mr. Ihle continued by discussing Xcel's battery deployment and electric vehicle implementation plan.
10:16:54 AM  
Mr. Ihle wrapped up his presentation by discussing the planning, performance, rate, and administrative reporting that Xcel provides to the PUC.
10:18:05 AM  
In response to committee questions, Mr. Ihle answered questions regarding local government renewable energy goals and community choice.
10:19:55 AM  

Mr. Ihle answered a question regarding the electrification of heating and cooling systems.  Mr. Ihle stated that Xcel is studying pilots, technologies, and the interplay between electric heating and wind.

10:26:19 AM  
In response to a committee question, Mr. Ihle discussed Xcel's work local communities to help them reach their energy goals.
10:30:01 AM  

Mr. Vance Crocker, representing Black Hills Energy, came to the table to discuss the company's operation in Colorado.  He distributed a copy of his presentation [Attachment C].

10:36:05 AM  
Mr. Crocker continued by discussing the company's service area and renewable energy goals.
10:38:31 AM  

Mr. Michael Harrington, representing Black Hills Energy, came to the table to discuss the company's history in Southern Colorado.

10:46:54 AM  

Mr. Harrington continued by discussing Black Hills Energy's rates, it's consumer focused solutions and energy efficiency programs.

10:56:06 AM  
Mr. Harrington also discussed advanced metering infrastructure and noted that the company has a customer portal where customers have access to real time energy usage data.
10:59:53 AM  
Mr. Crocker continued by discussing Black Hills Energy's contribution to economic development in Southern Colorado.
11:02:57 AM  
In response to a committee question, Mr. Crocker discussed Black Hills Energy's economic development activities with small businesses in Southern Colorado.
11:08:40 AM  

In response to committee questions, Mr. Harrington discussed the history of Black Hills Energy's operations in Southern Colorado and its infrastructure investment in the past decade.

11:14:06 AM  

Mr. Harrington noted that state legislation required Black Hills to replace two coal-powered plants with natural gas.  He also noted that Black Hills has implemented both hot weather and cold weather discount rates.

11:20:06 AM  
President Garcia, chair, read a statement from a constituent [Attachment D].
11:20:07 AM  

The committee recessed.



Panel on Consumer Choice - Committee Discussion Only


12:31:45 PM  

The committee came back to order.  Ms. Cindy Schonhaut, representing the Office of Consumer Counsel, came to the table to discuss consumer choice.

12:33:04 PM  

Ms. Schonhaut continued by discussing retail competition and choice in the electric sector and its effects on residential customers.

12:35:10 PM  
Ms. Schonhaut continued by discussing rates in Illinois and Connecticut and highlighted the experiences of consumers in New York.
12:48:35 PM  

Ms. Michelle King, representing the Colorado Energy Consumers, came to the table to discuss large industrial and commerical energy consumers.  She distributed a handout to the committee [Attachment E].

12:49:23 PM  
Ms. King continued by discussing several recent pieces of legislation and highlighted some remaining questions that need to be addressed.
12:55:46 PM  

Mr. Bill Levis, representing Colorado AARP, came to the table to discuss consumer choice and recent Colorado legislation.  He distributed a copy of his presentation to the committee [Attachment F].

01:04:01 PM  
Mr. Levis continued by discussing electric retail choice and AARP's opposition to the the concept.
01:11:23 PM  
Ms. Gwen Farnsworth, representing Western Resource Advocates, came to the table to discuss clean energy and customer choice.
01:12:47 PM  
Ms. Farnsworth continued by discussing several considerations for community choice aggregation.
01:19:12 PM  
In response to committee questions, Ms. Farnsworth stated that community choice aggregation might not move Colorado towards its energy goals faster than the current process, but that much uncertainty remains.
01:33:01 PM  
The committee continued to discuss community choice aggregation.
01:36:51 PM  

In response to a committee question, Ms. King discussed community choice and the role of industrial and commerical consumers.



Presentation on Energy Assistance Programs - Committee Discussion Only


01:42:52 PM  
Mr. Ryan Harry, representing the Colorado Energy Office, came to the table to discuss Colorado's weatherization assistance program.
01:43:28 PM  
Mr. Andrew Bennett, representing Energy Outreach Colorado, came to the table to discuss energy assistance programs.
01:55:44 PM  
Mr. Bennett continued by highlighting Energy Outreach Colorado's advocacy efforts.
01:56:26 PM  

Mr. Bennett continued by explaining the benefit of strong low income energy programs.

02:15:43 PM  
Committee discussion continued on low energy assistance programs.
02:16:11 PM  

Ms. Maria Hopps, representing the Department of Human Services, came to the table to discuss the Low-Income Energy Assistance Progam (LEAP).

02:26:11 PM  
All the panelists answered committee questions regarding program funding.



Public Testimony - Committee Discussion Only


02:39:12 PM  

Mr. Dan Greenberg, representing Energy Freedom Colorado, came to the table to discuss community choice energy.  He distributed a copy of his presentation to the committee [Attachment G].

02:46:27 PM  
Mr. Greenberg answered several committee questions.
02:46:46 PM  

Ms. Marie Venner, representing herself, came to the committee to discuss several issues raised during the committee's meeting today.  She distributed several letters to the committee [Attachment H].

02:49:22 PM  

Mr. Jim Cole, representing the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, came to the table to discuss the association's support for LEAP.



Interim Bill Draft Requests and Discussion - Interim Bill Drafts Approved


02:55:27 PM  
Duane Gall, representing the Office of Legislative Legal Services, and Katie Ruedebusch, representing Legislative Council Staff, explained the bill draft request process and deadlines.
02:58:08 PM  
The committee took a brief recess.
03:10:02 PM  
The committee came back to order.
03:11:54 PM  

Representative Hooton discussed an bill draft request on community choice and distrubted two handouts to the committee [Attachments I and J].

03:12:03 PM  

The committee began voting on interim bill draft requests.  Nonlegislative members of the committee may not vote.

03:15:06 PM  

Representative Hooton moved a that the committee draft a bill to study community choice aggregation.  The motion passed 4-2, with Representative Getiner and Senator Hisey voting in the negative.

03:18:25 PM  

Representative Kennedy moved that the committee draft a bill on the funding of energy assistance programs.  The motion passed by a vote of 5-1, with Representative Geitner voting in the negative.

03:25:27 PM  

President Garcia moved that the committee draft a bill on consumer protection.  The motion passed on a vote of 5-1, with Representative Geitner voting in the negative.


03:35:02 PM   The committee adjourned.






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