In 1999 Colorado enjoyed some of the lowest electricity rates in the United States and the Mountain West. Since then preferred energy advocates and lawmakers have advanced misguided policies under the guise of reducing carbon emissions. In 2004, Colorado voters approved Amendment 37, requiring investor owned utilities to provide 10 percent of the electricity sold to end users to come from the preferred sources wind and solar.
As the mandate to produce more electricity from preferred sources such as wind and solar has increased so have Colorado’s electricity rates.
- In 1999 Colorado’s electric rates were 5.9 cents per Kilowatt hour (kWh) and were the 18th least expensive in the country.
- In the 1990s Colorado’s population increased by 30 percent, electricity demand grew 26 percent, yet real prices fell 25 percent in the same period.
- If electric rates simply kept pace with inflation, Coloradans would have paid 8.4 cents per kWh in 2013 instead of 9.83 cents per kWh.
- In 2000, Colorado’s residential rates were 7.31 per kWh; adjusting for inflation that’s the equivalent of 9.89 cents in 2013. Instead Coloradans now pay 11.91 cents per kWh for residential electricity.
- Colorado’s current electric rate for all sectors is 9.83 cents per kWh, nearly 7 percent higher than the Mountain West average of 9.21 cents per kWh.
- Colorado’s electric rates increased 4.5 percent last year while U.S. electric rates increased only 2.4 percent last year.
- At 11.91 cents per kWh, Colorado has the highest residential rates in the Mountain West.
- Colorado residential electric rates are the 20th highest in the nation, with California, Alaska, and Hawaii being the only western states with higher residential rates.
Add to this mandated fuel switching (HB1365), which Colorado’s largest investor owned utility Xcel Energy says will increase electric rates an additional two percent per year, and what Colorado ratepayers have is the highest residential rates in the Mountain West.