Colorado’s Electric Cooperatives are Leaders for a Sustainable Future

Colorado’s electric cooperatives are playing a leading role in the transition to cleaner energy and to create a sustainable future.

Colorado’s electric cooperatives are playing a leading role in the transition to cleaner energy and to create a sustainable future.

Dramatic changes are transforming all aspects of the energy industry. The electricity sector as a whole is rapidly reducing carbon emissions. Since 2017, electricity generation is no longer the number one source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. In order to meet our goal, continue to diversify our electric generation portfolio through increased use of renewable energy.

Colorado’s electric cooperatives are playing a leading role in this transition to cleaner energy use in Colorado. We are testing and evaluating new energy solutions and innovative technologies that will help make our sustainability goals a reality. The state’s electric cooperatives are doing our part to help clean the environment:

We support equitable net metering

Co-op consumer-members can connect their own renewable energy generation system to the power grid and offset their electric needs through self-generation.

We are building community solar gardens

A Colorado co-op built its first solar project in 2010 as an innovative community solar garden. A first of its kind in Colorado, this concept has been replicated many times. Community solar gardens allow consumer-members unable to install rooftop solar to rent panels from the cooperative and receive a credit for the energy the panels produce.

We are building large-scale renewable resources

Colorado’s electric cooperatives have added hundreds of megawatts of utility-scale projects throughout the state with plans for much more.

We are surpassing goals for sustainable energy

The electric industry is the only sector of the economy exceeding decarbonization goals. All suppliers of electricity to Colorado’s electric cooperatives achieved the state’s 30% renewable energy standard ahead of schedule and will have 80% clean energy by 2030.

We are working toward 100% sustainable energy resources

All 22 electric cooperatives in Colorado already distribute electricity generated from at least 30% renewable sources. Each co-op in the state is working toward providing electricity from 100% sustainable resources.

We are leading with innovation

Colorado’s electric co-ops have a track record of innovation. All of the state’s co-ops actively investigate and evaluate which technologies keep us ahead of the curve through innovation. Colorado electric cooperatives continually innovate by adding:

Microgrids
Community solar programs
LED retrofit programs
EV programs
Smart thermostats
Rural broadband
Green power rebate programs
Microhydro projects
Electric buses
Methane capture

Small steps help

As Colorado’s electric co-ops continue efforts to further reduce emissions from electricity production, we recognize that increasingly clean electricity plays an important role in the decarbonization of the broader Colorado economy. The path to lower carbon emissions will actually use more electricity, not less as the transportation industry, buildings, commercial entities, industry and agriculture use electricity as their sustainable fuel of choice. Learn more about beneficial electrification at loveelectric.org.

Our path to creating a sustainable future

To keep electricity safe, reliable and affordable for electric co-op consumer-members, we must develop a decarbonization path that is sustainable, optimizes efficiency and maintains system reliability. Moving too quickly or requiring extreme measures that eliminate generation options, is costly to electric co-op consumer-members.

Colorado’s electric co-ops serve consumer-members in the poorest counties in the state and it is important that moving toward cleaner energy does not negatively impact these populations.

Our approach is to use lower-cost renewable sources and balance them with backup resources as needed. This ensures that Colorado does not end up with rolling blackouts and brownouts in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Providing safe, reliable, affordable electricity is crucial as other sectors of Colorado’s economy, including vehicles, move toward electrification.

Colorado’s electric co-ops are working toward a better future. We are taking the initiative to provide your power responsibly.

Our electric co-ops consumer-members are the heart of our cooperatives. They are what guides our decisions as we plan for the future and work toward our goals.

Colorado’s electric co-ops are continually working with local, state and U.S. leaders to ensure affordable energy costs for the future.

Colorado’s electric co-ops are interested in working together to find solutions to Colorado’s energy needs.

We’re Different…

✓All cooperatives serve different communities with different needs. When crafting public policy a one-size-fits-all approach hinders a cooperative’s ability to best serve its consumer members.

✓Colorado’s electric cooperatives are not like investor-owned utilities. Instead of answering to investors and shareholders, Colorado’s electric co-ops answer to their consumer members. Cooperatives are governed locally through an elected Board of Directors who are responsive to their communities.

✓Cost matters. Colorado’s electric co-ops serve the most persistent poverty counties in Colorado (insert a hyperlink to map). Even the most modest policy changes can cause rate increase for consumers throughout Colorado.

✓Change takes time. Colorado’s electric co-ops are committed to meeting an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and are leading efforts to electrify their service territory through beneficial electrification. These policies take time to implement, changing the time frame can cause unintended consequences.