Help plan the energy future at public workshop

Published: 1/24/2020  9:00 AM
Now that the Energy Vision for Colorado Springs has been set, citizens are invited to help make it a reality through our Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs). The Electric and Natural Gas IRPs will consider many views of the future to help determine h ...

​Resolve to save in 2020 and beyond

Published: 1/15/2020  7:00 AM
It’s a new decade and a new year, and that means new resolutions. This year, consider a home energy and water efficiency resolution. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, there are a number of strategies you can adopt to lower your utilities bill ...

​Engaging youth in the future of energy

Published: 1/14/2020  1:23 PM
As a municipal utility, community input – from all ages – is key to the success of our energy planning. After all, our Energy Vision concludes with the statement “to enhance our quality of life for generations to come.” Today’s youth are our future ...

Resolve to be environmentally friendly in 2020

Published: 1/10/2020  2:23 PM
​While January is the time for many to reflect on the past year and set goals for the months ahead, consider some eco-friendly resolutions this year. These practices promote sustainability and reduce overall environmental impact. In some cases, thes ...

Saving enough water for 5,000 Olympic Pools

Published: 12/19/2019  3:25 PM
​City Council voted this afternoon to implement new Water-Wise Rules in Colorado Springs starting in 2020.  These rules are intended to encourage the wise use of water on an everyday basis, not just during times of drought or periods of water shorta ...

Exploring ways to save customers money while benefiting the environment

Published: 12/17/2019  4:47 PM
Along with Xcel Energy, Black Hills Colorado Electric and Platte River Power Authority, we announced earlier this week plans to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM), operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), to save ...

Public invited to open house regarding North Union Boulevard

Published: 12/13/2019  12:17 PM
​Utility and resurfacing work scheduled to begin January 2020 We need to replace an aging water line under Union Boulevard to enhance reliability of the water system and prepare for the City’s 2C curb/gutter replacement and road paving. An open h ...

Happy Holi-Ways-to-Pay

Published: 12/10/2019  11:23 AM
In the midst of shopping, traveling, choir concerts and planning holiday parties, the last thing you need to worry about is finding your Utilities bill and remembering to pay it. We realize your life is hectic, that’s why we offer eBilling and other ...

​New solar array now powering Colorado Springs

Published: 12/6/2019  4:37 PM
Get a bird's eye view of our latest renewable energy project, the Grazing Yak Solar Project. Consisting of more than 119,000 panels on 278 acres near Calhan, Colo., Grazing Yak will provide 35 megawatts of electricity to our customers. That is enoug ...

Would you drink the fat?

Published: 11/25/2019  11:00 AM
What’s your favorite part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal? The turkey? The stuffing? The pecan pie? (My problem is I love it all.) What’s the worst part of the Thanksgiving meal? Cleaning up! After spending half the day preparing and then an ...

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​Engaging youth in the future of energy   

  by  Amy T.  on  1/14/2020

youth engagementAs a municipal utility, community input – from all ages – is key to the success of our energy planning. After all, our Energy Vision concludes with the statement “to enhance our quality of life for generations to come.”

Today’s youth are our future customers and decision makers. They are calling for increased transparency, greater inclusion and enhanced engagement.

But, are they interested in energy planning? If so, how do we capture their priorities? Do they want to be a part of the solution?

These were all questions we aimed to address as we embarked in a partnership with the Quad Innovation Partnership to capture youth priorities as we develop our long-term Electric and Gas Integrated Resource Plans (EIRP/GIRP). The Quad is a joint initiative between Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the United States Air Force Academy that helps graduating innovators build careers that matter in the Colorado Springs area.

The Quad developed and executed a plan to collect information from local high school students. The goal was to help us better understand the many dimensions of the diverse opinions youth in Colorado Springs hold towards energy. To do this, the Quad hosted focus groups at five local high schools representing a broad segment of the community.

The schools that participated were St. Mary’s High School, Air Academy High School, Fountain Valley High School, Palmer High School and Atlas Preparatory High School.

The discussion these groups had was built to engage participants around the attributes that will be used to score the various portfolios developed during the EIRP/GIRP. The preliminary list of attributes includes cost, diversity, environment, flexibility, implementation, innovation, reliability and stewardship. Our Utilities Board will select a portfolio this summer that will serve as our long-term plan on how we best meet our community’s future demand for energy.

So, what did the Quad discover?

There was a resounding emphasis that the environment is most important to young people, reasoning that without it, we have nothing. Following environment, are reliability and cost. As for the remaining attributes, they go hand-in-hand and deserve equal merit.

While this partnership allowed us to learn more about the priorities of young people for this EIRP/GIRP process, the biggest takeaway for us is learning that students are hungry for more information about energy.

Young people live in and explore our cities, they have valuable insight into ways to make our future better and we must continue to explore tools that engage youth in planning.

As for next steps in the EIRP/GIRP process, we will share the results from a community-wide survey and host an Energy Planning Workshop. Information from these efforts will be used to finalize the list of attributes and their weightings to score the portfolios.

We also look forward to working with the Quad to further ways of engaging and educating our youth in our energy future.

Energy Planning Workshop
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, 6 p.m.
Library 21C


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