Colorado Springs Utilities Board Puts Rates, Environment on Equal Footing
The Colorado Springs Utilities Board, a group consisting of all City Council members, voted last week to put cost and environmental impact on equal footing when determining the future of renewable energy and the Drake coal plant in the mix for Colorado Springs Utilities. Lindsay Facknitz of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal project called the vote a victory for keeping environmental concerns in the forefront. She said the citizen input on CSU’s energy futures survey helped drive the vote. That survey will be up for more citizen input until May 3 HERE
Facknitz told Beyond Coal members CSU is going to be adding new energy sources to our electric grid over the next 10 - 20 years. What do we want our energy sources to be? Solar, Wind, Batteries, Natural Gas, Coal, Hydro, etc. How much and how fast do we want CSU to retire our old, expensive, dirty coal plants (Drake and Nixon)?
1) Put your money where your preferences are
: the first couple questions ask you how much "extra" you would be willing to pay (if any) to switch to certain sources. This does not mean it WILL cost more. They just want to see if you'd be willing to pay extra and how much extra. To clarify this kind of question, here's an example:
Do I want my electricity to come from natural gas? No
. So, am I willing to pay extra for natural gas IF it cost a bit extra from my current electric bill? No, therefore
Example survey answer: No Increase
Do I want my electricity to come from new renewable resources (solar, battery, wind)? YES! Could and would I be willing to pay more? Yes. If so, how much more?
Example survey answer: between $2 - 15 extra a month
("Extra Cost" answer options: $2, $5, $10, $15, More than $15. See attached document for clarity)
Obviously, you are the judge of your finances. If you cannot afford any rate increases (especially during this uncertain time) please say so on the survey. CSU just wants to get a sense of what energy sources we value.
2) "Of the 5 pathways you listed, which do you prefer?"
If you want to make the greatest impact on climate change locally, then choose "New Renewable Resources" or "Early Coal Retirement" pathway. The other pathways are less optimal if your objective is to have the greatest impact on climate change because they either have a less aggressive carbon reduction plan, or they will use new natural gas plants. (Not good)
The rest of the survey has other interesting questions that are clear to understand and don't need extra explanation.
3) All CSU customers (renters, home owners, business owners, etc) can fill out this survey
4) You do NOT need your account number to fill it out. Just your address.
5) CSU prefers one survey per household.
PS: CSU has NOT finished estimating what any particular "Pathway" would cost. They will start to present that information the first week of May.
2) Tell 5 - 10 friends to fill out the survey
I would not be telling you to do this if it wasn't important. Getting a significant amount of people to fill out this survey WILL influence city council's vote to change to renewable energy.
I trust you know how to get ahold of your friends and family and get them to fill out the survey. Me? I'm calling everyone in my phone. I find phone calls get people energized to keep spreading the word. And we're doing a lot of that these days while we're at home!
3) Help Spread the Survey word on Social Media
Since this survey is one of the last big actions we can take
to advocate for a clean energy future for Colorado Springs, I'm going to send you two emails this month.
The next e-mail will have example social media posts you can use to spread the word on the survey. Please read over the email because it has great facts you can use for emailing or calling city council.
A) New action blog
At this link
, you will find the blog about what's going on with the EIRP! to share with your friends! Remember, we purposefully aren't getting too into the weeds here so that we can more easily engage folks who generally care about clean energy or climate. We don't want folks to be scared away from making their voice heard just because they don't know what EIRP stands for...that would be most people!
You'll also find online links to our Colorado Springs coal fact sheets in the blog.
B) Social media guidance for survey distribution
The goal is to create a buzz online about what's going on with clean energy in Colorado Springs and to get as many people as possible to take the survey in favor of carbon reductions and climate action. PLEASE post on social media to help get the word out! Be sure to use the link provided below, as it will allow us to track how many people click on the survey.
Stay tuned for more resources!
Help Us Get Colorado Springs to a Fossil Free Future!
Let’s build a social media movement together #FossilFreeCOS
How Can You and Your Community Help?
Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) just released a survey asking their customers what kind of steps CSU should take to cut carbon pollution that will combat climate change. We want to make sure ALL customers in Colorado Springs have a say in how they get their power. You can use your personal, business, and organization’s digital presence to get the survey out! Hit up your listservs, post on your social media platforms, and ask your friends and family to do the same! Feel free to use the language and images below or create your own.
But make sure to tag Colorado Springs Utilities (Facebook: @coloradospringsutilities; Twitter: @CSUtilities) and use the hashtag #FossilFreeCOS. And don’t forget to include a link to the survey: https://bit.ly/2UZNRxM
Sample Post 1:
CSU is running the LAST survey for their city energy plan being finalized this summer and they want to hear from you! Take 5 minutes to let @coloradospringsutilities know that you want carbon-free, clean energy in your hometown: https://bit.ly/2UZNRxM
Renewable energy is cheaper than out-dated fossil fuels all across the country. In Colorado Springs, customers could be saving millions by turning to wind and solar. Thanks for making a difference. #FossilFreeCOS