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Working Groups

Working Groups

Community Working Groups

The Energy Future Project has formed volunteer community working groups to obtain input from residents, businesses, and stakeholders on project focus areas. The city is currently convening five working groups and has held six in the past. Click on the menu below to read about the recruitment and selection process, goals and tasks assigned to each group, and notes and reports from current and past groups.

No working groups are currently open for recruitment. Please check back here as new groups form.

What are Working Groups?

Technical working groups are brought together for fixed, short periods of time to work on very specific tasks. Individuals participating in these groups are expected to have the time, interest, and commitment to participate in the production of deliverables assigned to the group.

  • Members of the city’s technical working groups provide valuable input and technical assistance in areas of strategic importance to the city’s efforts.
  • Members are expected to actively participate in group meetings and events, volunteer, collaborate, and complete specific group goals.
  • It is expected that no more than five working groups will convene each year.
  • Size and composition are dependent on the group’s task.

Selection Process

  • Technical Working Group membership is open to anyone with relevant subject matter expertise and the time and interest to participate fully.
  • Since these groups are expected to provide a deliverable within a set amount of time, group size is limited to facilitate collaboration and decision-making.
  • If more people express interest than can be accommodated, the city will ensure that the group is representative of the community and has members with the necessary skills and talents to achieve group goals.

Applying to Working Groups

Selection is based on skills and qualifications. If you are applying to multiple groups, please fill out an application for each group. To achieve a diverse representation of community experts, we do not anticipate that the same person will be selected for more than one working group.

No working groups are currently open for recruitment. Please check back here as new groups form. 

Current Working Groups

Natural Gas Working Group - Dec. 2013 to Present

The Natural Gas Working Group is a team of industry specialists, local stakeholders and other interested parties that was formed to explore concerns and opportunities related to the use of natural gas to generate electricity for the City of Boulder, should it decide to form a local electric utility. It will provide valuable recommendations, as natural gas will likely play a significant role in Boulder's energy portfolio, whether the community continues to be served by Xcel Energy or by a municipal utility. While the focus of the group will be to examine issues and concerns related to fracking and methane release, it will also explore current and possible industry best practices and potential alternatives for gas replacement.

Energy Services Working Group - Dec. 2014 to Present

The Energy Services Working Group is composed of community members who will help inform the Energy Future Project and Transition Plan.

Resource Acquisition Working Group - Dec. 2014 to Present

The Resource Acquisition Working Group is composed of community members who will help inform the Energy Future Project and Transition Plan.

Reliability and Safety Working Group II - February 2015 to Present

The Reliability and Safety Working Group II is composed of community members who will help inform the Energy Future Project and Transition Plan.

Rates Working Group - February 2015 to Present

The Rates Working Group is composed of community members who will help inform the Energy Future Project and Transition Plan.

Past Working Groups

Boulder-Xcel Partnership Task Force

Since December, city staff has met with executives from Xcel on several occasions to develop a process for discussing a partnership to create the utility of the future. In March 2013, Xcel proposed the creation of a task force that would engage with Xcel executives, city staff and other experts when needed, to discuss possible paths to forming such a partnership. Xcel and the city jointly selected Boulder residents and representatives of Boulder businesses to serve on the task force. The task force members are interested and are prepared to be engaged in the issues and represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives. A task force report was presented at the July 23, 2013 City Council Study Session, and further analysis from the task force is expected in the coming months.

Communications and Outreach Working Group - Nov. 2012 to March 2013

The Communications and Outreach Working Group provided strategic counsel to city staff about best practices and innovative ways of engaging a broad cross-section of the community in the ongoing discussion about whether the city should form an electric utility. This group was tasked with vetting ongoing communications and outreach efforts, identifying and examining alternate strategies and low-cost tactics for informing the public, and providing city staff with feedback from the public’s perspective about what worked in terms of communication related to the municipalization exploration effort.

Decision Analysis Working Group - Dec. 2012 to March. 2013

The Decision Analysis Working Group was tasked with reviewing the framework of the decision analysis and vetting data and assumptions included within it. It was comprised of a small team of experts with significant academic and/or career experience related to decision analysis and risk assessment. The city hired a decision analysis consultant who provided overall project guidance, and the group both evaluated aspects of that consultant’s work and provided research support and expert feedback.

Financial Working Group - Nov. 2012 to Feb. 2013

The Financial Working Group was tasked with vetting certain data inputs and assumptions included in the financial model. Additionally, this team researched and located certain data points to use in the model. The city hired a financial advisor with expertise in municipal utility finance.  Questions that arose from the financial working group related to the financial assumptions were sent to the financial advisor and then discussed with the working group.

Governance Working Group - May to June 2013

The Governance Working group will work with city staff to understand the flexibility and limitations of the charter language and to develop a recommendation for City Council on any necessary ordinance amendments or other suggestions on how the utility should be governed. As the city has studied municipalization it has developed a service area that includes customers that are both within and outside the municipal boundary, raising issues related to the appropriate level of customer participation in the governance structure from these areas. Another important task was discussing the composition and qualifications for a utility advisory board, as well as its role and authority. The working group was also asked to review and make recommendations relating to the appropriate representation for the various utility customer categories.

Reliability and Safety Working Group I - Nov. 2012 to March 2013

The Reliability and Safety Working Group was tasked with vetting reliability issues associated with the city’s municipalization exploration work plan. The goal of the working group was to help city staff identify what is required to meet expected reliability requirements and associated costs. Considerations included not only reliability in the design, operations and maintenance of the system, but also in the delivery of power from suppliers. The working group was asked to help inform the scope of this analysis, review consultant work products, and vet assumptions with respect to reliability-driven costs.

Resource Modeling Working Group - Nov. 2012 to March 2013

The Resource Modeling Working Group was tasked with vetting the reliability issues associated with the city’s municipalization exploration work plan and providing industry-specific expertise about a variety of resource options. The group also helped vet assumptions that the resource model used to develop possible portfolio scenarios.

Solar Working Group - Nov. 2013 to Aug. 2014

The Solar Working Group was composed of a team of solar industry specialists and customers - both current and future - who explored motivators and barriers to implementing solar throughout the community. The focus of the group's work was on defining the next-generation of incentives as well as providing guidance about how to handle solar contracts between now and the time when the city decides whether it will create a local electric utility.

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