Feb 8, 2010 11:38 AM by Associated Press
State regulators are getting more involved in Xcel Energy's smart-grid project in Boulder as the utility has started charging customers statewide to cover some of the costs.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has decided that Xcel Energy needs to seek more approval of the project, which is modernizing the electric grid by going digital.
Xcel Energy spokesman Tom Henley says the utility didn't feel it needed to get a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which regulators require to establish the need for new infrastructure and facilities.
But the commission says that Xcel Energy's original plans didn't include charging all its customers for the smart-grid project. About $11 million of a recent rate increase will cover some of the costs.