In early November, Fort Collins City Council approved the 2013 Utility Rates which include increases to electric and water service. Electric rates will increase an average 4.83% and water rates will increase 4%. The electric rate increase reflects changes to Platte River Power Authority’s Tariff 1 and Tariff 7 that direct their wholesale rate structure and renewable energy service, respectively. The water rate increase covers the estimated mitigation costs for the High Park Fire’s impacts to the Poudre WaterShed and additional treatment measures to guarantee excellent water quality.
Platte River Power Authority’s board, which determines wholesale electric rates, voted to smooth rate increases over the next two years to ease the impact to customers. This translates to a 5% wholesale increase in 2013 or an average annual 4.33% increase to the retail rates for Fort Collins customers. Increases will vary based on the customer’s load profile. These increases are due to increased costs for fuel, operations and maintenance, as well as decreased surplus sales. An estimated increase of 4–5% is anticipated for electric rates in 2014 as well.
PRPA’s Tariff 7 is applied as a premium charge for covering the net costs of the renewable energy sources within Platte River’s portfolio which include Medicine Bow and Silver Sage Wind Projects, as well as Renewable Energy Credit (REC) contracts. The premium is increasing from $.019/kWh to $.024/kWh due to higher maintenance and decommissioning costs, increasing REC contract prices and the loss of Clipper turbine, historically the lowest purchased power resource. This increase will impact participants in Fort Collins Utilities’ voluntary Green Energy program.
Renewable Energy Programs
Although the majority of the Fort Collins electric rate increase is a direct pass–through from Fort Collins’ wholesale electric provider, .5% of the approved increase to electric will fund the Fort Collins Solar Program. This program includes the creation of a Feed–in–Tariff program that enables Utilities to enter into long–term purchase power contracts for renewable energy produced by commercial customers.
Water Mitigation Investments
The High Park Fire that occurred in June and July of 2012 impacted over 87,000 acres of National Forest Service, federal, state and private land. Much of this land comprises the watershed of the Poudre River, which provides on average half of the water for Fort Collins Utilities’ water customers. City Council approved a 4% increase in anticipation of the cost to mitigate the impacts to the watershed as well as costs for additional instrumentation and treatment measures. Fort Collins Utilities estimates another 4% increase in 2014 for continued costs of mitigating the fire’s impacts.
There are no increases to wastewater or stormwater rates in 2013.
Key Accounts Information
Fort Collins Utilities has many low and no–cost programs in place to assist businesses with energy efficiency and water conservation as well as dedicated staff, resources and tools to help understand and reduce your usage and costs.
For more information please contact your Account Representative:
Small and Mid–Size Commercial
René Evenson– 970–221–6394
Large Commercial/Key Accounts
Sharon Held– 970–221–6706
Tiana Smith– 970–221–6253