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Xcel customers: Get ready for a rate increase in the New Year

Back in the fall of 2017, we informed you about a multi-year rate increase approved for Xcel Energy electricity customers.  The first, and largest, portion of rate increases went into effect on October 1, 2017, and now it’s time to get ready for another round.

Effective January 1, 2019, Xcel customers will face an increase in their electricity bills.  We know it’s not the happiest news for the New Year.  Here’s what you can expect:

  • Winter rates (October-May) increase from 9.032 cents to 9.241 cents per kWh
  • Winter electric heat rates (October-May for homes that have primarily electric heat) increase from 6.08 cents to  6.287 cents per kWh
  • Summer rates (June-July) increase from 10.582 cents to 10.815 cents per kWh

According to Xcel’s estimates, a customer who uses 545 kWh per month can expect their bills to increase about $1.18 per month.  A customer using 809 kWh per month will see an increase of about $1.76 per month.  The more energy a household uses, the more they will feel the increase.  The increase in electric rates have a ripple effect on taxes and fees that are charged on the bill.

So, what is a customer to think and do?  Putting it in perspective, Xcel residential customers bore the largest portion of the multi-year rate increase starting in October 2017.  Because most households use more electricity in the summer than winter, this upcoming increase will be more noticeable next summer.  A good goal may be to reduce your energy use enough to keep your bills steady and not feel the rate increase in real dollars.  CUB’s tips can help you reduce your electricity use throughout the seasons.  We also provide free bill consultations and can give you customized suggestions to reduce your household’s energy use.  Visit our events page for upcoming bill clinics.

As a consumer, you can also share your voice when rate increases are proposed.  Holding utilities accountable for making good decisions that minimize the need for rate increases is in the public interest.  All Xcel rate increases go before the Public Utilities Commission and that body provides opportunity for public comment.  Look for more information about the role of the Public Utilities Commission in a future blog post.

Author: Carmen Carruthers

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