Larry Covillo: YVEA listens |

Larry Covillo: YVEA listens

I would like to respond to Ms. Marra Bennett’s letter to the editor regarding support of green energy. The Yampa Valley Electric Association’s employees and Board of Directors live in the area we serve with electricity. We all want to be good stewards of the environment and support keeping the air clean for ourselves and our children.

Yampa Valley Electric and the other electric cooperatives in the state have endorsed and supported House Bill 1281, which will require the cooperatives to have 10 percent of their energy delivered from renewable resources by 2020. This is an issue on which Gov. Bill Ritter campaigned in 2006.

Ms. Bennett is correct in saying that Yampa Valley Electric has sold out its renewable wind energy program. Today, approximately 425 customers are willing to pay the additional cost to support renewable energy. YVEA has a “waiting list” of 16 customers who wish to purchase wind energy, should more become available. These 441 customers are less than 2 percent of our total customer base and less than two-tenths of 1 percent of our sales. It has taken YVEA eight years to sell out the 750 monthly blocks in the program.

YVEA has been in negotiations with Xcel Energy, our wholesale provider, since June 2006 on the delivery of renewable energy. We think we are entitled to the delivery of approximately 300,000 blocks of renewable energy per year. This matter should be resolved within 60 days and will bring YVEA’s energy portfolio to over 5 percent renewable – well beyond the requirement of any government mandate.

The Yampa Valley Electric Association is a not-for-profit, member-owned, locally governed electric cooperative. We do listen to our members; most tell us to watch expenses and continue to provide the lowest cost product. That is the job I am hired to do. In my 33-plus years in electric utilities, no customer has ever told me that the utility charges too little.

Larry Covillo

General manager,

Yampa Valley Electric Association

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