The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office has awarded a group of Colorado State University researchers a $72,520 grant to create a new energy pricing model that will reflect energy production’s impact on the environment.

“Action is taking place at both the national and state levels to better account for the environmental attributes of electricity in the price of power,” said Matt Futch, utilities program manager for the GEO. “This study will assist the state in identifying alternatives for quantifying the benefits and impacts to the environment to all conventional and renewable sources of electric power generation.”

The project, called “Designing a Technology-Neutral Benefit-Pricing Policy for the Electric Power Sector in Colorado,” will be researched by a team of CSU economics and agriculture professors to determine how energy production factors such as air pollution, water consumption, climate change and health effects should be used to price energy.

Energy technologies that are harmful to the environment such as fossil fuels would lead to an increase in energy prices to consumers under the new model. The use of solar and wind energy and other clean energy technology would decrease consumer prices.

The price model research team will present its findings to the GEO by Oct. 31. The GEO will then present the report to the Public Utilities Commission for consideration to adopt the new pricing policy.

The team was created by CSU’s Clean Energy Supercluster, which also awarded it a seed grant of $15,000. The Supercluster was created by CSU to advance clean energy technology by connecting the energy industry, researchers and the government.

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