RMFU pushes Tri-State on high electricity rates and lack of flexibility


Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) is asking Tri-State Generation and Transmission (Tri-State) to address its high cost electrical rates by exploring other options including gathering input from farmers and ranchers who are member-owners of local rural electric cooperatives.

“Farmers and ranchers work within razor thin margins to make ends meet. We have to think strategically to reduce our cost-of-production, be flexible in how we invest inputs and constantly react to the demands of our customers – we think our energy providers should do the same,” said RMFU President Dale McCall.

The RMFU board of directors recently passed a resolution which calls on Tri-State to address these issues in its upcoming electric resource plan, which will be filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Tri-State’s electricity costs have continued to increase in recent years despite dramatic declines in the cost of new renewable sources of electric generation through advanced technology and shifting market conditions. At the same time, farmers and ranchers make up a good portion of Tri-State’s customer base and spend on average 7% of their budget on energy costs. RMFU urges Tri-State to make some important changes in how it produces and provides electricity across its territory and save its customers money and drive much needed economic growth in rural areas.

“There are cheaper energy resources that exist today and Tri-State needs to take advantage of the new market. We hope Tri-State will take this resolution by RMFU seriously and help Colorado’s farmers and ranchers sustainably grow the nation’s food supply.”

In the resolution, RMFU also indicates that other energy providers are adjusting to energy market changes and technologies. The resolution specifically cites Xcel Energy’s recently announced plan to provide 80% carbon free electricity by 2030, which the company believes can be achieved affordably with renewable energy and other technologies. The resolution also calls for Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and Tri-State to work out a fair exit charge that does not impact the other Tri-State members, and which allows DMEA to pursue more cost-effective, local renewable generation.

The RMFU resolution clearly states that we are ready and willing to partner with Tri-State to create proactive reform that will address their high energy rates and provide sustainable electric service to our members,” said McCall. “We look forward to their response.

Dale McCall is President of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a progressive, grassroots organization representing more than 20,000 farmer and rancher members in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.


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