Printed letters, Mar. 1, 2011

Xcel’s cut in solar rebate hurts economy, energy

As a small business owner, employer and proud resident of the state of Colorado, I used to also be able to say I worked in the No. 2 state for solar jobs per capita in the United States. That was until Xcel Energy inexplicably decided to cut its entire solar compliance plan last Wednesday, reducing its rebate structure by more than 90 percent for the state of Colorado.

Not only did Xcel reduce the rebate, effective immediately, but now the solar industry is in a holding pattern until the PUC rules on the validity of this reduction, with no new applications for solar allowed with Xcel Energy.

When asked in an informative meeting held by Xcel the day after the announcement if they had considered loss of jobs when they made this decision, an Xcel representative blatantly said, “No, no we didn’t.”

Colorado voters have sent a clear message that they want to increase clean-energy use to help promote economic development in our state. Allowing Xcel to control its own solar program is a conflict of interest. As a monopoly utility, Xcel has a financial stake in disrupting and delaying solar growth in a state where voters have made a strong voice in support of renewable energy.

The PUC needs to stand strong in support of small businesses that are looking to lose 2,000 to 3,000 jobs by year’s end if resolution does not come in this matter.

Considering the prospect of $4 to $5 per gallon cost of gasoline as conflicts continue to flare in oil-rich areas, renewable energy should be the last thing on the chopping block.

HEIDI IHRKE

High Noon Solar

Grand Junction

Budget cuts hurt host home providers

My husband and I are care providers for an amazing person who is developmentally disabled. Along with many other people in the community, we are a host home and we care a lot about what we do.

The state has decided to cut all host home pay by 25 percent or more, only giving a 30-day notice, which has made it hard for a lot of the host homes to take care of these special people.

We would just like the community to know what the state has decided to do to balance their budget. By cutting host home providers’ pay, they have made it difficult to almost impossible for some providers to keep caring for the people they have come to appreciate and consider part of their families. These people have an amazing outlook on life and help us to appreciate it.

By cutting their host homes pay they are taking away the ability to care for them the way they should be cared for, and to provide the opportunities they want and need just like everyone else.

SAMANTHA LAMBERT

Grand Junction

Laurie Kadrich has shown her budget bona fides

Recently, I phoned News 11 concerning a story they ran on the upcoming building projects in Grand Junction. I was referred to a phone number with city management. I phoned the city number and left a message.

I received a call in the afternoon from City Manager Laurie Kadrich. She answered my questions in a clear and professional manner. She went on to explain the funding sources for the capital projects in the city and why these projects are progressing.

Bottom line from my conversation is that we have a city manager who understands that they have a budget and they develop the systems to stay within the budget parameters. Good job Ms. Kadrich.

EARL R WHITE Grand Junction


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