Why it can be in the Best Interest of Co-op Energy to Meet SB 252
The Senate Bill 252 states that cooperative energy companies in rural areas of Colorado need to raise their standards of power generation. Renewable energy sources need to be raised by these power companies to 20% by the year 2020. However, an escape-plan to avoid the law is that there is a 2% raise cap on rural resident bills that cannot be surpassed in order to implement this strategy. If the costs are higher than what that 2% increase can cover, the cooperative energy company doesn’t need to follow the law of this bill.
However, that shouldn’t dissuade these rural power companies from trying to implement renewable energy sources regardless of the cap. Although some of these co-op companies don’t bring in a lot of money to begin with, developing solar and wind power alternatives piece at a time can impact profit margins in ways they may not realize.
1. Piecemeal – Solar and wind generation methods of power can be developed as piecemeal projects; which means you don’t need to invest all of the money at once to meet a specific goal. You can add one device at a time as money permits construction. Many home owners will implement this strategy in order to provide power for their own homes slowly decreasing the energy bill in a cost effective manner. A single kilowatt of power provided from an array is one kilowatt of power that is replacing coal or oil production. For less than $10,000, a co-op energy company can generate roughly five kilowatts of power from solar nearly eliminating a single family household from tapping the coal-generated power off the grid.
2. Profitable – For every resource that is saved from the burners or in transportation of fuels such as coal or oil, the co-op power company saves money from maintaining a particular power level. As the only fuel for solar and wind is naturally occurring elements, there is no fuel to invest in. The Sun isn’t going to ask you for a single dime for using it’s UV light. The more panels that are created, the less tangible fuel is needed. In order to keep the costs affordable to the power company, a piecemeal strategy can be implemented. In fact, the costs could be so low that there would be no need to increase the monthly bill of residents. Eventually, your power company could be generating so much power through renewable means that traditional methods would be placed as an “emergency-only” system for power.
3. Brownout Prevention – Many rural areas such as those within North-East Colorado suffer from regular brownouts due to the demands of power from insufficient delivery methods. For each panel that is placed on the grid, there is an increasingly less chance of brownouts along the system. Wouldn’t you rather have customers who are loyal than those who relish the day you go out of business? A brownout is more than just an inconvenience. They can cause irreparable damage to computer and networking systems forcing residents to purchase battery backup methods in order to equalize the effect of less power for every single device.
What some companies may not realize is that there is a real threat of eventually becoming obsolete and going out of business. With every household that becomes self-sustaining through power generation that is anywhere between $150 to $300 that is no longer coming into the bank accounts per month. By producing a renewable power method that can offer a lower electric bill, households may be more inclined to forgo looking for their own power methods. It’s all about keeping the customers happy and loyal.
This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.