Utility Information

General Information on Utility Regulation

Electric and natural gas utilities that deliver retail service to consumers are regulated by federal, state, and local agencies. In Colorado, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is the agency tasked with regulation of utilities. It governs the prices they charge, the terms and conditions of their service to consumers, their budgets and construction plans, and their programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. Utility impacts on air, water, and land use and land disposal are regulated by other government agencies such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Because most utility consumers cannot “shop around” between multiple providers of electricity or natural gas, regulation serves the function of ensuring that service is adequate, safe, reliable, and is provided at reasonable prices. Regulators ensure that these prices are just and reasonable, meaning that the prices are sufficient, but no more than sufficient, to compensate the utility for its costs (including a reasonable return on investment) of providing service.

Other Information


Colorado Electric Company Information

Natural Gas Company Information in Colorado

 


As a result of the passage of Amendment 37 on renewable energy in 2004, and subsequent laws passed by the Legislature, both Public Service and Black Hills Energy are required to meet Renewable Energy Standards set forth in Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 40, Article 2, Section 124.  In order to meet such requirements, each electric utility files proposed Compliance Plans on July 1 each year. These reports show the utility's actual results for the prior calendar year and describe whether and how it achieved compliance with the Renewable Energy Standard. These plans also provide each utility's strategy for obtaining 20 percent renewable generation by the year 2020, as required by law.


The two investor-owned electric utilities and all the gas utilities in the State offer energy efficiency programs which include both conservation and energy efficiency.  These programs include such measures as shutting off the lights when leaving a room and creating incentives for consumers to buy new, energy efficient home appliances. One form these programs takes is the rebate offered to buyers of new energy efficient appliances, which rebates are available at the appliance retailer.  That rebate – or incentive – is paid for by all the utility’s customers, even those that do not upgrade to newer appliances and may never be able to do so (such as a renter).

The law refers to energy efficiency as Demand Side Management and the provisions regarding gas energy efficiency are contained in Colorado Revised Statues, Title 40, Article 3.2, Section 103 and the provisions regarding electric energy efficiency are contained in Title 40, Article 3.2, Section 104. 

Information on each utility’s energy efficiency programs can be found on their websites, listed below, and more information on energy efficiency can be found through the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  

Residential and small business consumer's use a bulk of their natural gas in the winter for space heating. Since you probably use much more gas in the winter than in the summer, your winter natural gas bills are probably much higher than your summer bills. Many consumers have taken advantage of utility budget billing programs to help even out their energy bills over the year and avoid the high gas bills that can occur in the winter. Contact your utility for more details about these programs.


Both electric and natural gas utilities in Colorado offer programs to assist low income consumers with their energy bills. The law regarding such programs is contained in Colorado Revised Statutes, Title, Article 8.7, Sections 101 through 112. Please contact your utility company to learn more about these programs. The utilities’ contact information is provided below. In addition, customers can learn about low income assistance programs from the website of Energy Outreach Colorado. That organization also provides helpful tips on conserving energy and improving the energy efficiency of older appliances and buildings.