You are hereAn outlook on questions 2B, 2C
An outlook on questions 2B, 2C
As a 20 year franchise agreement expires with Xcel Energy, Boulder is looking for the "next step" — clearly stated on dispersed "Yes on 2B" signs.
The city of Boulder believes this is a perfect time to look into energy alternatives that are more renewable and locally produced.
Question 2B will impose an opportunity tax for five years on residents. It won't increase taxes, but rather replace a franchise fee that will end in December.
"That money goes to the general fund, which goes to things such as libraries, roads, fire safety and more," said Patrick von Keyserling, Communication Manager for the City of Boulder.
The annual revenue comes to $4.1 million that helps the city of Boulder with their already cut budget. But what this also does is gives Boulder a chance to look at their energy options.
Xcel is one of the state's largest carbon dioxide generators - making over half of its electricity by burning coal. This doesn't please Boulder who has made many efforts to cut these emissions and ween away from fossil fuels.
"A sustainable future is a priority for the city council. What they are considering is options for the city to study energy alternatives in the next five years," said Keyserling.
By 2016, the city plans to explore options of a hybrid energy grid with 50 percent generated by renewable energy and a plan to use solely renewable energy by 2020.
Question 2C also puts our reliance on coal-burning energy in mind. It would exempt rooftop solar panels from the height restriction statute that doesn't allow buildings to be over 55 feet tall.
As Boulder is already the city with the most rooftop solar panels, they look to continue this by installing panels in Downtown Pearl and surrounding areas.
"This is all for a cleaner and sustainable future for Boulder," said Keyserling.
When contacted, Xcel Energy took no stance on these issues. City councilmen, however, strongly support these issues as opening doors for Boulder's "once-constricted" energy grid.