Active Efficiency in Action

The best way to understand the value of Active Efficiency is to see it in action. There are many examples that demonstrate the potential of Active Efficiency. Between the economic, social, and environmental benefits, the hard work that goes into making these examples successful is something to be celebrated.

Electrification of Transportation in Colorado

The transportation sector is expected to become the largest single source of greenhouse gas pollution in Colorado on its current trajectory. Colorado has prioritized a top to bottom strategy, utilizing the executive branch, the legislature, utilities and their regulators, as well as regional partners, to create a multi-pronged approach to reduce emissions through transportation electrification.

Top-to-bottom policy actions

Colorado’s Executive Branch signed the 2017 and 2019 Regional Electric Vehicle Plan for the West (REV West) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with other states in the region to create an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle Corridor. Governor Jared Polis also issued an Executive Order in 2019 creating a transportation electrification workgroup and establishing a zero emission vehicle program. In 2020, the Colorado Energy Office released an updated Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan, setting the state’s electric vehicles (EVs) adoption goals. The legislature passed EV tax credits in 2012, which will be available through 2025. In 2019, legislation established a process for the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to authorize electric public utilities to provide charging ports as a regulated service, allowing for cost recovery while setting limits for the impact on retail rates. This legislation also requires utilities to submit Transportation Electrification Plans (TEPs) to the PUC every three years with proposed rate designs, investment and incentives for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), and educational programs. In the spring of 2020, Colorado’s two investor-owned utilities, Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy, submitted their first TEPs to the PUC for approval, proposing to spend $101 million and $500,000 respectively over the next three years on transportation electrification.

Efficient operation of the electric grid

The TEPs are required to support the efficient operation of the electric grid. Xcel Energy has proposed to do this through time-of-use rates and a multi-faceted managed charging program with a static and dynamic option. The static option charges EVs every night at the same time. In the dynamic option, called Charging Perk, Xcel will formulate customers’ daily charging schedule based on past behavior, vehicle state of charge, and day-ahead forecast or power production costs. Xcel also proposed a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pilot using electric bus fleets.