Thursday, December 15, 2011
Energy costs are going up. For example, on November 22, 2011, Xcel Energy Inc. filed a request for a $141.9 million electric rate increase for its Colorado customers. It is anticipated that the rate boost will increase customer bills by approximately 4%. Because energy is one of higher operational costs of running a business, rate increases can hit businesses especially hard. Businesses can however, take steps to cut their energy use and control their costs.
More and more companies are recognizing that they can do more with less and the result is a positive impact on the balance sheet and the environment. One company at the forefront is McDonald’s USA. This is not a new concept to McDonald’s either. November 20, 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of a groundbreaking partnership between McDonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund. The McDonald’s approach to energy can be broken down into two disciplines: energy procurement (how they buy it) and energy efficiency (how they use it).
In our upcoming show on ICOSA radio, we plan to focus on McDonald’s efficiency efforts. We want to highlight how the changes made by businesses can have positive impacts that go beyond just energy savings and extend into other areas such as the environment. For example, a fryer is not just a fryer to McDonald’s. McDonald’s has developed a next-generation low oil volume (LOV) fryer that uses about 40% less cooking oil and 4% less energy than standard fryers. That translates to lower operational cost, less waste, less transport cost and less overall energy use.
McDonald’s USA has sought to: (1) Increase adoption of energy efficient equipment and technology in the restaurants. (2) Improve tracking of restaurant energy consumption data. (3) Increase energy awareness and education across the business to continue to realize savings to the bottom line and benefits to the environment.
We are excited to discuss McDonald’s energy strategies in more detail with Steve DePalo, Director of Energy for McDonald’s USA on Monday, December 19th at 11:20 MST on ICOSA’s Connect and Collaborate Segment with Experience Pros Radio on 560 AM in Denver or archived shows can be downloaded from the Experience Pros website: www.experiencepros.com. Check out ICOSA radio at http://www.theicosamagazine.com/icosaradio.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Colorado Task Force on Transmission Siting and Permitting Issued Report to Governor and the Legislature Today
In compliance with Senate Bill 11-045, the task force on statewide transmission siting and permitting issued its report today. The report provided three recommendations:
1. Increase local government coopeation and collaboration.
2. Change the appeal process for decisions by the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
3. Open a PUC docket to consider improvements to the backstop process and consider a transmission siting and resource center. Specifically, "the task force recommends that the PUC open a docket to consider a range of backstop-related issues, including using mediation for dispute resolution, providing advice to the PUC, and considering the possibility of establishing a resource center for the benefit of local governments, transmission providers, the public and the PUC.
As originally introduced, the bill would have created a seven-member electric transmission facility siting commission consisting of three utility regulators, three members representing the local governments in which a plannned facility is proposed to be located, and one member representing the public at large. After significant amendments, the bill was modified to create the task force resulting in the three recommendations above.
A copy of the task force’s full report can be viewed from the PUC website at http://www.dora.state.co.us/puc/index.htm.