The City of Pueblo Hires Firm to Study Ending Deal with Black Hills Energy (NYSE: BKH)
Pueblo Ending Deal With Black Hills Energy
Posted: August 14, 2018 12:32 PM MDT Updated: August 14, 2018 12:42 PM MDT
PUEBLO, Colo. – The Pueblo City Council took a step closer to possibly ending the city’s deal with Pueblo ending deal with Black Hills Energy in the next few years.
Council members unanimously approved hiring a consulting firm Monday to conduct a feasibility study on ending the agreement with Black Hills by 2020. That’s because the city wants to create its own municipal utility.
The city will spend $122,000 to hire EES Consulting out of Washington to perform the study. The firm will look at the legal, technical, and financial requirements necessary for the city to end the agreement by 2020. A decade before the agreement actually expires in 2030.
Pueblo Ending Deal with Black Hills Energy (NYSE: BKH)
EES has nine months to complete the study and present their findings to city council.
The city of Pueblo says breaking the agreement will spur economic development.
“Economic development is a huge part of what the city does, and rates are important to business looking to move to a region,” said Pueblo Assistant City Manager John Vigil. “Local control over those rates would increase the ability to attract those companies.”
The franchise agreement can only be canceled by city voters, who approved a 20-year agreement in 2010.
Vance Crocker, the vice president of Colorado electric operations for Black Hill Energy, says they have made the efforts to win the public’s trust. Crocker cited the company’s warm weather rule that prevents disconnects for customers when it gets hot, and he also pointed out that they have provided rate stability in recent months.
Lastly, Crocker says when Black Hills received tax benefits from the federal government, they passed along those benefits to customers. He says typical residential customers will see a reduction in their rates.
Despite the city’s steps towards separation, Crocker says he is confident that Black Hills Energy will remain and help the city of Pueblo to grow economically heading into the future.