Colorado Springs Utilities customers have something new to cheer about: this week S&P Global Ratings (Standard & Poor’s) issued a credit upgrade for Springs Utilities from AA to AA+.
Why should our customers care? Because our “credit score” went up, this will result in improved investor interest in our bonds and lower interest rates when we issue new bonds.
This rating upgrade makes a significant statement about the work being done at Colorado Springs Utilities. It is the result of fiscal responsibility while delivering operational excellence. We control costs by making prudent business decisions. The utility’s financial plan, commitment to financial discipline and metrics were major factors in the rating increase.
To better serve our growing customer base, we are thinking differently, becoming more creative and embracing new technologies. Part of S&P’s decision to upgrade us was based on our plans to reduce our reliance on coal generation resources.
We continue to demonstrate our commitment to solar energy and battery storage. We will take our renewable energy mix from 11 percent of our generation to more than 20 percent by 2024 allowing us to power more than 75,000 homes annually with solar energy.
Standard & Poor’s also noted our very strong service area economic fundamentals, reflecting our large, primarily residential and diverse customer base. Our financial policies and practices are also very strong. These include regularly-updated strategic plans, multi-year capital planning and financial forecasts, and an automatic power cost adjustment mechanism.
I’m thrilled to serve as the Chief Planning & Finance Officer of an organization that is innovative, adaptive and leads the utilities industry across the board. While our city continues to grow, we will be right there with it, strengthening our financial metrics even more. Because ensuring ratepayers’ money is being used responsibly and wisely for the benefit of the entire community is at the heart of everything we do.