PUEBLO, Colo. - - A new poll claims that people in Pueblo are ready to leave Black Hill Energy as its power provider.
Out of 339 Pueblo voters that filled out the survey, around 72% said they would support a ballot measure to leave Black Hills Energy and pursue an alternate energy provider. The survey had a margin of error of 5.3%.
The survey was conducted by Change Research (PDF), and was funded by the campaign 'Bring Power Home 2020'.
According to Change Research, the poll is an accurate representation of all the Pueblo voters demographics, including age, party leanings, and ethnicity in a Colorado off-cycle electorate.
Pueblo voters who filled out the survey found ads on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Change Research says the people were not aware of the surveys subject matter when presented with the advertisement.
The poll also concluded that 70% of Pueblo voters looked unfavorably on Black Hills Energy. Eighty-five percent of those that took the survey say their power bills have gone up, 56% say it went up significantly.
On the other hand, representatives with Black Hills Energy call the new poll released yesterday propaganda. In a statement to KRDO Black Hills Energy says that forced government takeover of Pueblo's electricity system would be costly, and that customer may be worse off with higher taxes.
Pueblo City Council is currently in phase 2 of a feasibility analysis to potentially leave Black Hills Energy and pursue electric municipalization, or another power provider option.
The city of Pueblo must come to a decision by August of 2020. To do that, voters must make the decision. Council President Dennis Flores says it's too late to ask voters this election cycle. However, if council decides they want to leave Black Hills Energy then there would have to be a special election, possibly during the March primaries.
Organizers with 'Bring Power Home 2020' say they plan on presenting their complete findings to Pueblo City Council.