Introduction to Holy Cross Energy
Holy Cross Energy, founded in 1939, is member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative utility providing electricity, energy products and services to more than 55,000 consumers primarily in the Western Colorado counties of Eagle, Pitkin, and Garfield.
Each consumer receiving electric service from Holy Cross is a member-owner eligible to vote at meetings of members, to become a Director, to receive member equity allocations and/or distributions and to share in the proceeds should Holy Cross be dissolved.
As a not for profit electric utility, annual revenues that exceed operating expenses are credited to each Member's equity account based upon their annual energy purchases (sometimes referred to as "patronage"). Each Member receives an annual statement showing their current and past year(s) Member Equity allocation and equity account balance. Members may receive cash distributions from their equity account up to two times per year depending upon length of membership. Cash distributions are made at the discretion of the Board of Directors based upon the Bylaws and financial condition of
Holy Cross. Members have received cash distributions of over $142 million since 1952 with more than $75 million distributed since May of 2005.
Holy Cross is governed by a duly elected Board of Directors consisting of seven active Holy Cross members from specific geographical districts serving staggered three year terms. Director candidates submit nominating petitions signed by at least 15 active members residing within the geographical District in which the candidate resides and wishes to represent. Should a contest for a Director District exist, a candidate or candidates are elected through a general election held for the purpose of electing Directors. Holy Cross is not subject to the economic (ratemaking) jurisdiction of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission because its Members have elected to exempt Holy Cross from such jurisdiction. Holy Cross remains subject to the Commission's complaint and territorial jurisdiction and is also subject to any Federal, State or local authority with appropriate jurisdiction.
HCE has long term power supply commitments through contracts with Public Service Company of Colorado (a subsidiary of Xcel Energy) and Western Area Power Administration. Additional wholesale resources include short term economy energy purchases a number of renewable energy generators selling power directly to HCE, and more than 5.8 MW of net metered generation owned by HCE’s members. HCE is an 8% owner of Comanche Unit 3, a 750 MW super-critical, coal-fired generating unit located in Pueblo, CO which became operational in 2010.
The energy used to meet members’ electrical needs in 2015 was fueled by 60% coal, 6% natural gas, 30% renewable sources such as wind, solar PV, biomass, and hydroelectric generation, and 4% market purchases which could not be identified with a high level of certainty.
Holy Cross believes in being a conscientious steward of our natural resources. It has several long standing programs which were often ahead of popular demand, addressing efficiency, conservation and renewable resources. Holy Cross was one of the first utilities in Colorado to offer Net Metering to its consumers and currently has more than 800 net metered accounts. Holy Cross was among utility pioneers in offering consumers the option of purchasing renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint. Nearly 1,700 of Holy Cross's consumers are participating in Wind Power and Local Renewable Pool programs purchasing over 1,150,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per month. Holy Cross has provided thousands of complimentary residential energy audits since the 1980's.
In 2004, Holy Cross established its WE CARE (With Efficiency, Conservation And Renewable Energy) program providing consumers:
- An incentive for consumer who install renewable energy generation facilities. To date, more than 6,000 kW of renewable generation has been added behind our member’s meters.
- Energy efficiency rebates and grants to all of our members who undertake to make their homes and businesses use less electricity.
- Complimentary residential and limited scope commercial energy audits. Complimentary electric water heater blankets and up to four Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs are offered to members for residential audits.
- Complimentary residential and commercial energy audits, including the direct installation of energy saving light bulbs and other appropriate equipment.
Other Holy Cross programs that support efficiency, conservation and wise use of natural resources:
- Annual funding of the LivingWise educational program helping provide over 1,000 local elementary school students and their teachers with devices and information concentrating on residential energy and water resource efficiency.
- Continued support to local non-profits who help our membership reduce their energy use.
- Expending more than $1 million over the past several years redesigning, building and retrofitting its overhead power lines in order to protect raptors from accidental electrical contact.
- Created transportation incentives for its employees to reduce the number of vehicle trips to and from work.
- Continuing our long standing practice of sophisticated system design and use of high efficiency transformers to maximize system reliability, energy efficiency and economy.
- Providing access to each member’s hourly electrical usage so that they can better control their homes.
Holy Cross supports the members of our community through the following programs:
- Financial and weatherization assistance to our low-income members through partnerships with Energy Outreach Colorado and the Colorado Energy Office.
- Providing paid time for our employees to volunteer for organizations and events that serve our members.
- Enabling our members to help support their neighbors through donations to the non-profit Holy Cross Round Up Foundation.
Holy Cross Energy is committed to providing its members with the best possible services at a reasonable and competitive cost consistent with sound business and environmental practices.