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Virtual PUC Hearing on Demand Management and Beneficial Electrification

January 18 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm

For the hearing next Wednesday (Jan 18, 2023) at the PUC on Xcel’s Demand Side and “Beneficial Electrification” programs, sign up at one of the links below. (The sign up link is also on the PUC calendar in the lower right of the PUC home page under the Jan 18, 2023 noon hearing. 

These links should lead you to the same place to sign up to speak at noon on Wednesday Jan 18, 2023–we’re just including the second one as a backup. 



To attend the hearing, use the zoom link below from the PUC calendar–It is also in the PUC calendar (lower right of PUC home page) and in the message below.. 

Join Zoom Meeting


Here are a few talking points

In general saving–and managing–demand (i.e. Demand Side Management) or “DSM”)  is very likely the cheapest option for customers, but Xcel is “dragging their feet” on the many things that could be done to keep costs down and build an electrical system for the 21st century–

The PUC needs to speed them up!!

Electrical DSM

-Xcel’s electrical demand curve has a very sharp peak. We should be shaving that peak with demand management and demand response programs–not spending a lot of $$ on gas turbines that will be sitting idle over 95% of the time.

-The PUC should force Xcel to put out an RFP for demand response. We know there are many companies ready to bring us 21st century options–Just because Xcel doesn’t want to do it or can’t figure it out doesn’t mean it can’t be done! 

-We know aggregated demand and solar systems etc can be made into “Virtual Power Plants.” Why isn’t Xcel doing this?? (Just search Virtual Power Plants for stories–Below are a few to get you started…)



-As we gain more solar, we should be directing demand to the hours when the sun shines and the wind blows instead of simply using the old paradigm that there was extra coal generation at night. We want to use the cleanest possible electricity and avoid having to curtail solar and wind generation. 

-Xcel knows what the current and day-ahead generation mix (and therefore) carbon intensity) will be. Xcel should make this information public so customers can time their use (e.g. car charging etc) to when the grid will be cleanest) and so entrepreneurs can create the automatic devices and programs that will help match demand with “Time of Renewables”


-We want to ultimately move beyond using fossil methane, so this is a bit tricky. The PUC should avoid programs that perpetuate the use of methane.

-A lot of heat falls on Colorado roofs–We should be harvesting that for our heat whenever we can. Colorado is at the “bulls eye” for solar thermal potential–The PUC (and Xcel) should be encouraging solar thermal for heating loads. Solar thermal  captures a lot more heat per kwh used than a heat pump. In addition it has storage which can be used to help shave peaks in electrical demand. We should be greatly increasing our use of solar thermal technologies!!

-The Legislature has enacted legislation calling for the use of the Social Cost of Carbon and the Social Cost of Methane and a discount rate of no more than 3% (See HB21-1238), The PUC should ensure that Xcel uses these “metrics” when analyzing gas DSM programs so that Xcel isn’t undervaluing investments that will help wean us off of fossil methane. (See also the point above about solar thermal.) 

Beneficial Electrification

-See point above about solar thermal!!!

-We should be looking hard at ways to reduce heating demand and a wide array of technologies (did I mention solar thermal??), as well as ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) and “networked GSHPs.