The Delta Montrose Rural Electric Association (DMEA) has long been the most progressive utility (Let alone electric coop) in Colorado. I wrote about their forward thinking promotion of geoexchange / ground source heat pumps in 2007, long before there was any rule requiring any Colorado utility to have a Demand Side Management (DSM) program.
Now DMEA is taking another step that I find reminiscent of the defections of big businesses from the US Chamber of Commerce last year over the Chamber’s stance on Climate Change legislation. DMEA has quit the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA), the lobbying organization for Colorado rural electric cooperatives.
I’ve testified on several energy bills in the Colorado Legislature, and whenever it had any thing to do with electrical utilities, CREA representatives have shown up, and always to testify on the wrong side of the bill (At least as far as clean energy is concerned.)
Unfortunately, DMEA is unlikely to start a stampede for the doors at CREA… apart from DMEA, all the rural electric coops I’m familiar with in Colorado are extremely backward looking.
Press release follows:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan McClendon, G.M. (970) 240-1299
DMEA Withdraws from Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA)
Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) has given notice that it will resign from the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA) effective April 30, 2010. Part of this decision is based upon the increased CREA membership dues and the questionable value to DMEA member-owners. DMEA is an energetic and forward looking organization. The electric industry is changing at a rapid rate and DMEA can best serve its member-owners by participating in this change.
It is DMEA’s opinion that the electric cooperatives need to be more active in promoting energy efficiency, cost cutting measures, building a smart grid, and integrating new sources of energy into the electrical systems. Many of those changes require new laws, and therefore require action in the Legislature.
However, CREA has fallen into the unfortunate pattern of opposing most electric industry initiatives that come before the Legislature. That is aggravated by the fact that CREA has not come up with a clear and aggressive program of its own to offer the Legislature as a positive alternative to the things it does not like. As a result, CREA has earned the reputation of being against almost everything. DMEA believes that can and must change, and we look forward to rejoining CREA when it becomes a forward looking organization.