Energy Deregulation in Colorado
- Deregulated energy services: Only natural gas.
- Deregulated gas service territories: None, deregulation enacted but not being applied as of 2022.
Colorado enacted deregulation for the natural gas industry in 1999, but no companies are offering provider choice as of October 2022. Around 70% of Colorado homes use natural gas for space heating, but this could change in the near future. The state has been considering regulations that would ban gas-fired appliances in some applications, similar to those approved by California and New York.
Colorado is considering electricity deregulation, according to The Gazette: House Bill 21-1269 instructed the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to study the economic feasibility of power generation and delivery through a consumer choice model. Towns, cities and counties would now be able to choose a wholesale electricity provider for their residents.
- Under the new model, all residents would be enrolled automatically after their local government chooses a wholesale electricity provider.
- Investor-owned utilities like Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy are required to continue delivering power if a community in their service territory chooses deregulation. However, individual residents can opt out and continue purchasing their electricity from IOUs instead of the chosen provider.
- Colorado’s proposed model can be considered partial deregulation, since communities can choose their electricity providers but not individual consumers.
Xcel Energy is currently the largest electricity and natural gas provider in Colorado.