In landmark deal, utility will disclose climate-change risks
In a first-of-its-kind deal, utility Xcel Energy has agreed to give its investors detailed information about the risks that climate change poses to business. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed Xcel and four other utilities in September, asking them to determine whether their plans to build new coal plants posed undisclosed risks to investors — from lawsuits and the cost of complying with carbon regulations to the impacts of drought and rising seas. So far, Xcel is the only one that has agreed to analyze and disclose potential impacts. The landmark agreement “sets a new industry-wide precedent,” says Cuomo, adding, “Coal-fired power plants can significantly contribute to global warming, and investors have the right to know all the associated risks.” Xcel, which powers the abodes of customers in eight states, is quickly rising to the top of our Favorite Utilities List: it’s clean-powering both political conventions, recently announced plans to shutter two Colorado coal plants, and is deploying a smart grid in Boulder.