Vail power board challenger touts practical business experience
VAIL – Holy Cross Energy, which provides electricity to most of the Vail Valley, is holding a board of directors election this spring.
Ballots were mailed recently to the roughly 35,000 eligible members of the electric co-op, and voting is open until 11 a.m. June 5, when the utility’s annual meeting begins at the Ramada Inn at Glenwood Springs.
All members can vote for candidates in every director district. This year, there are two candidates for the Aspen-area director’s seat and three candidates for the Vail Valley’s director seat. The Vail Daily asked all the candidates to answer a handful of questions. Here are the answers from Bill Maxwell, a challenger from Edwards.
Name: Bill Maxwell
Background: I have over 35 years experience in the telecommunications, automotive, marine and materials handling industries which included 10 years based in South America. I have served on the boards of directors of both public and private companies, along with being principally a chief executive officer or chief operating officer for 20 years.
Since my retirement here in 1999, I have been active in my community, serving on the board of directors of the Arrowhead Metropolitan District for six years (the past four years as president) and have recently been elected to an additional four-year term. I am also an alternate director of Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority.
Why do you want this job? I bring practical business experience to decision-making for the major energy and economic issues facing Holy Cross, which should be beneficial for ensuring that affordable and reliable electricity are the top priorities.
What do people need to know about Holy Cross? Holy Cross offers a span of efficiency, conservation and renewable energy programs for consumers that are beneficial to the user.
How should Holy Cross plan for possibility of future legislation requiring utilities to get a greater percentage of their electricity from renewable sources? Colorado has legislated that renewable sources account for 15 percent of power supply by 2020. Holy Cross has already achieved that level and has a goal of obtaining at least 20 percent of its power supply from renewable resources by 2015. Federal climate change legislation is under development and that outcome is uncertain, especially with the current unstable economic situation in the U.S.
While the national economy has virtually stopped growth in Holy’s Cross’ service area, how should the utility plan for the days when economy is healthier? Meaningful growth is some time in the future, which doesn’t negate the requirement to have have adequate power supply to meet that eventual need. A key ingredient is the potential for energy savings from consumer conservation, which would potentially offset or at least reduce the additional power supply required for growth. The planned tiered rate structure is also an excellent measure to stimulate energy efficiency.