For a small Colorado utility, 100% renewable energy is old news

Warren Buffet-owned utility MidAmerican Energy recently made national news by announcing it was on track to offset 100 percent of its electricity with renewable energy – while keeping costs low for customers.

For a small Colorado utility, that’s old news.

Aspen Electric, the municipal utility serving the resort town of the same name, achieved 100 percent renewables in 2015, and it didn’t break the bank to do so. Residential rates for Aspen’s customers rank among the lowest in Colorado, while meeting a 100 percent renewable energy goal set by Aspen’s city council 13 years earlier.

And this month, upgrades to a Nebraska wind farm, of which Aspen Electric is a major customer, will push the utility’s costs even lower – dropping about 15 percent annually, or $475,000.