Electric Rates and Rate Study

 
Estes Park Light & Power electric rates increased in September 2016
At its July 26, 2016 meeting, the Estes Park Town Board adopted the recommended rate increase for the Town of Estes Park’s electric utility, Estes Park Light & Power, to be implemented 2016 through 2019. The new rates took effect with usage beginning Sept. 5, 2016 and appeared on October bills.
 
To ensure continued high-quality utility services and plan for future upgrades through capital improvement projects, the Town of Estes Park periodically reviews the cost of providing services as well as projected revenue – the rates paid by customers. The Town’s public electric utility is a cost-based entity that relies solely on user fees to operate.  Costs and revenues must be balanced in order to maintain operations and keep utilities in line with ever-increasing federal standards and customer needs and expectations. A rate study completed by HDR Engineering earlier this year concluded that most customer classes should be adjusted to support the increasing cost of services and to maintain fair and equitable rates. Based on the new rate structure and the average usage as computed by the Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities, customer will see the following changes on monthly bills:

A residential customer using 700 kWh of electricity per month: 
• Prior to rate increase paid $82.66 per month including the monthly customer base charge;
• As of September 5, 2016, the cost would be $86.90 per month
• January 1, 2017, the cost would be $90.93 per month
• January 1, 2018, the cost would be $95.14 per month
• January 1, 2019, the cost would be $99.35 per month
 
A small commercial customer using 2,000 kWh per month:
• Prior to rate increase paid $221.45 per month including the monthly customer base charge
• As of September 5, 2016, the cost would be $231.73 per month
• January 1, 2017, the cost would be $241.61 per month
• January 1, 2018, the cost would be $251.49 per month
• January 1, 2019, the cost would be $261.37 per month
 
A large commercial customer using 45,000 kWh and 130 kW (demand charge) per month:
• Prior to rate increase paid $3,860.50 per month including the monthly customer base charge
• As of September 5, 2016, the cost would be $4,121.07 per month
• January 1, 2017, the cost would be $4,341.79 per month
• January 1, 2018, the cost would be $4,567.26 per month
• January 1, 2019, the cost would be $4,781.73 per month
 
Municipal electric utilities like the Town of Estes Park involve two major operations – the distribution of electricity and capital improvements to the system.  The following system improvements are needed:
 1.  Moving overhead lines underground in the Marys Lake, Baldpate Inn and Lily Lake areas, including along the Homer Rouse Trail.  Other areas like Little Valley are being replaced with overhead tree cable which increases wildlife protection and power quality.
 2.  Coordination in 2017 and 2018 with Public Works as MacGregor and Big Horn Avenues north of Wonderview Avenue are rehabilitated – these power lines will be moved underground.  In addition, a portion of Fall River power line as well as the Goblin’s Castle Road line will be replaced with tree cable.
 
 
 
The last electric rate study was conducted was in 2010-2011. Another rate study was postponed due to the 2013 flood, when the Town opted to maintain its rates through the first phases of flood recovery.
 
For general information on the electric rate study and newly adopted rates, please contact the Utilities Department at 970-577-3588  or sparker@estes.org. To learn how the new rates will affect a specific property’s bill, please contact Utility Billing at 970-586-5331