Colorado utility’s plan big on energy efficiency |

Colorado utility’s plan big on energy efficiency

DENVER, Colorado ” Xcel Energy’s plan for providing Colorado energy through 2015 includes an aggressive energy efficiency program that could save the equivalent of a coal-fired plant.

The plan approved this month by Colorado regulators calls for Xcel Energy to spend $63 million next year and $80 million in 2010 on demand-side management ” programs aimed at cutting demand by households and businesses. Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz says the plan projects saving 694 megawatts of electricity.

Stutz says that would nearly be the equivalent of a new unit being built at an Xcel coal-fired power plant in Pueblo. One megawatt provides enough energy for roughly 750 households.

Xcel officials estimate that increasing energy efficiency could generate $450 million in economic benefits for customers.

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