Electricity plays a critical role in the modern economy by serving homes, businesses, and customers in the agricultural and industrial sectors. For example, electricity allows residential customers to turn on their lights, run their appliances, cool their homes, and charge mobile devices. Electricity is generated by converting one source of energy (like kinetic energy in the wind or chemical energy in coal and natural gas) into electrical energy.
There are two important measures of electricity: capacity and usage. Electrical capacity is denoted in kilowatts (kW), megawatts (MW), and terawatts (TW), and electricity usage is most often measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), megawatt hours (MWh), and terawatt hours (TWh). In Colorado, the average household needs roughly 3 kW of electric capacity at any given time and may consume 740 kWh on average over the course of a month. The average rate for electricity in Colorado is 9.96 cents/kWh, so the average customer may expect monthly electricity bill of around $75.
Colorado is fortunate to have a diversity of economically competitive energy resources for electricity generation. The state has many traditional energy resources such as coal, natural gas, and hydro-electric facilities. Further, Colorado is home to some of the best wind and solar resources in the country and has opportunities to pursue small-hydro electric, geothermal, biomass, and other innovative energy resources. Each resource has its benefits and challenges, and Colorado has a motivated population that has shown dedication to utilizing the breadth of its energy resources to evolve in a quickly changing energy landscape.
The electric power sector is complex and each resource has different effects on job creation, energy security, long-term consumer costs and environmental quality. Every decision made in this sector is important and has long-term effects (for example, many generation facilities have life spans of 40+ years). CEO engages with all stakeholders (electric utilities, citizens, businesses, companies developing new technologies, interest groups, and others) to promote a balance in the electric power sector that creates the greatest benefit for Coloradans. Through stakeholder participation and facilitation, CEO is working to help create a platform that provides the electric power sector to flourish in an age of uncertainty.
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