DENVER — Xcel Energy customers are sweating the possibility of another rate hike. They're making their opposition known to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as the agency considers a $45 million electric rate increase.
“They make more than enough money. They don’t need to gouge their customers any further,” said Loren Meaux, an Xcel customer, in a public comment hearing Tuesday.
Xcel originally filed for a $312 million increase to pay for investments in transmission projects and its commitment to meet Colorado greenhouse gas emissions goals. After negotiations with state regulators and consumer advocates, the company dropped the increase to $45 million.
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Customers say an increase after Xcel Energy reported $1.74 billion in profits last year doesn’t add up.
“I am a homeowner, I own a 1950ish house. We have made many improvements to try and increase efficiency,” Xcel customer John Spencer said. “As a family with two white collar professionals working well-paying jobs, these rates exceed raises that we get year over year.”
If approved, the $45 million increase would mean about $1.54 more per month on average for households.
“When you add up the rate increase year over year, the impact is significant,” Sara Schueneman with AARP said.
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Negotiations around the current proposal began last year before Xcel’s natural gas rates nearly doubled.
The increase hit in the middle of winter and impacted those trying to heat their homes. The PUC reported that a typical Xcel customer saw a 25% increase in their electric bill and a 75% increase in their gas bill in 2022 compared to the prior year.
Policy advisers are sounding the alarm that Xcel is only raising rates to guarantee investors a return.
State regulators get 'unprecedented' complaints about Xcel's proposed rate hike
The PUC will have more hearings next week before deciding on the rate hike. You can submit your comments to the PUC through the following channels:
- Submit written comments through the PUC's electronic filing system
- Submit written comments using the PUC's online form
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail comments to the PUC offices at: Colorado Public Utilities Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 250, Denver, CO 80202
- Call 303-869-3490 to leave comments