Frustrated with the rate of change within their local utility company, residents of Boulder, Colorado, have voted to create a public utility to replace it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Xcel Energy, the Minneapolis-based electricity company that currently provides all of Boulder's power, draws the majority of its electricity from coal-fired plants. Despite the company's ongoing shift to natural gas and a pledge to reach 30 percent renewable sources by 2020, the residents of Boulder grew frustrated with the pace of transition.
Instead, city officials estimate that they could create a public utility with a far greater emphasis on renewable electricity for as little as $230 million. The Xcel projections range close to $1 billion, but part of the price will ultimately depend on how much the city pays for the utility's existing infrastructure.
The New York Times notes that approval for both the public utility and an additional $2 million tax increase to help pay expected costs passed narrowly with 51.78 percent and 50.27 percent of the vote, respectively.
The situation in Boulder illustrates one of the primary benefits of electricity deregulation. Colorado has no such policy, which would allow residents to choose an electricity provider with a greater emphasis on green energy.