From January 2007 to January 2011, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (D) pushed through the General Assembly a legislative package of 57 bills known collectively as the New Energy Economy. In practice, the purpose of the New Energy Economy was to promote “clean energy” sources— primarily renewables and natural gas — through subsidies and mandates. By directing ratepayer money into these industries, Governor Ritter believed the New Energy Economy would boost Colorado’s competitiveness in the global market.
To date, there has been limited examination of how the New Energy Economy has measured up to its intended purpose of stimulating the Colorado economy. This report is the first independent calculation of the program’s annual costs and benefits. It focuses on the four largest cost driving pieces of legislation and their impact on the 1.4 million ratepayers served by Colorado’ largest investor owned utility Xcel Energy.