Xcel Charts Its Course for Energy Efficiency in Colorado for 2009

Xcel Charts Its Course for Energy Efficiency in Colorado for 2009

Xcel Energy, Colorado's largest utility company, has mapped out an ambitious energy efficiency plan for 2009 that the firm says would save an amount of power equivalent to that generated by a new unit at a coal-fired plant.

The utility company spent $20 million in 2008 on energy efficiency. It expects to spend $63 million this year and $80 million in 2010 on programs that are geared to reducing energy demands by business and residential customers.

A spokesman for the utility firm told the Associated Press that Xcel projects in 2009 are expected to save 694 megawatts of electricity — about the amount that would be generated by installing a new unit at the firm's coal-fired plant in Pueblo.

Plans approved by state regulators include an addition of at least 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy.

Wind and solar account for more than 10 percent of the utility company's electricity sales. The firm has a goal of achieving 20 percent by 2015, five years earlier than the state's 2020 deadline.