• PiE Community Meeting

Xcel Energy Partners in Energy Program

Energy Planning for Your Community

Brendle Group is leading the delivery team for Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy offering, a community energy planning and implementation resource for communities in Colorado and Minnesota. The program involves facilitating a 6-month planning process for each community that culminates in a community energy action plan. It also includes 18 months of customized strategy implementation and progress tracking support for each community. Key to the success of these plans is the unique energy strategies by each community. Brendle Group helps planning teams develop strategies that leverage existing programs and create more access and engagement. Some strategies are as simple as identifying high-use commercial corridors and organizing a lighting efficiency campaign. Others involve neighborhood challenges, municipal competitions, or student engagement programs. Some communities have been able to successfully engage large energy user collaboratives or targeted commercial customer types, such as ski resort operators and medical facilities.

Using Xcel Energy data for a community and tools designed specifically for Partners in Energy, Brendle Group is able to help communities forecast potential savings related to each strategy and set targets of participation or other measurable outcomes to be able to determine progress and success over time. Once the energy plan is developed, we help support their outreach and promotions that may include marketing materials, event planning, and other activities to help each community achieve its energy goals. The objectives for Xcel Energy in offering this collaborative resource to communities is to develop a better understanding of the energy needs of those communities, to better align utility services and programs with customer needs, and to support a philosophy of community engagement.

To inform the planning process and help in measurement and tracking, Brendle Group has developed Microsoft Excel®-based and community-specific strategy analysis and tracking tools that incorporate community energy data, existing Xcel Energy demand side management (DSM) and renewable energy program offerings, potential market sizes for each program, and forecasting to achieve community energy reduction goals by increasing uptake of programs. These tools allow for custom strategies beyond DSM programs for broader energy efficiency plans.

Current Colorado communities participating in Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy include Broomfield, Fort Collins, Denver’s National Western Center complex, Littleton, Lafayette, Englewood, Jefferson County, Summit County, and Garfield County.