Guest opinion: New Holy Cross rate structure explainer, and tips for keeping customer costs in check |

Guest opinion: New Holy Cross rate structure explainer, and tips for keeping customer costs in check

Bryan Hannegan
Holy Cross Energy
Bryan Hannegan

Since our founding in 1939, Holy Cross Energy (HCE) has provided safe, affordable, and reliable electric service to our cooperative members and communities. For much of this history, HCE has provided both the electricity itself and the means of delivering it to you — the electric grid.

Our electric rates have reflected the costs of both the electricity and the grid in a single per-kWh energy charge, and HCE has continued to maintain electric rates that are in the lowest one-third of Colorado utilities.

Today, as we continue our Journey to 100% clean energy by the end of this decade, we recognize that the role of HCE is rapidly changing thanks to advances in rooftop solar systems, battery storage, electric vehicles, all-electric buildings, and other emerging clean energy technologies. As the number of these technologies grows, HCE will sell less electricity but will still need to maintain our electric grid to serve members regardless of where their electricity comes from.

To maintain HCE’s financial sustainability in this clean energy future, the HCE Board of Directors has approved a multi-year rate structure that will be implemented on Sept. 1, 2023.

This more equitable rate structure will ask each member to pay only for the energy and parts of the system they use each month. The costs associated with the delivery of electricity will be separated into a per-kilowatt-hour delivery charge, with the remaining lower energy charge reflecting only the true cost of the electricity itself. Any time a member takes delivery of electricity — regardless of where it comes from, or whom it comes from — the delivery charge will be assessed.

HCE recognizes that existing rooftop solar owners took a bold leadership role in helping our community get started on our journey to 100% clean energy. In honor of their leadership, HCE will provide them with the option to either stay on their current electric rate for the next 10 years (with no delivery charge) or receive an equivalent credit refund of $250 per kilowatt of rooftop solar installed to be used to offset your delivery charges in the future.

All HCE members can manage their electricity costs by reducing their electricity consumption between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily when electricity costs the most. Members can also sign up for HCE’s Peak Time Payback (PTP) program that rewards members for reducing electricity usage during blocks of time when we forecast the need for electricity will be higher than usual. Check your SmartHub account, at, to learn more about your usage patterns and how to save.

Our electric cooperative is strongest when members take an active role and make their voices heard. We encourage you to learn more about our proposed electric rate changes at, where you can also calculate your own electric bill impacts and submit feedback to our Board of Directors for their consideration through April 30. We look forward to hearing from you.

Bryan Hannegan is President and CEO of Holy Cross Energy, based in Glenwood Springs and serving parts of Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin and Gunnison counties.

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