At Xcel Energy, it’s our job to provide customers with reliable, increasingly clean energy at an affordable price. And to deliver on that promise, Colorado’s electric infrastructure must be constantly maintained and updated to deliver the high-quality service you expect.
In June 2014 we submitted an electric rate case to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission). It’s a regulatory proceeding that determines how much it costs Xcel Energy to serve customers and how much the utility needs to charge to recover these costs.
Since our last rate case was filed, we have invested significantly in our electric system to modernize the plants, poles and wires that deliver energy to you. The end result: a more reliable and resilient grid, cleaner air, and a better environment.
On Jan. 23, 2015, Xcel Energy reached a settlement agreement with parties on this electric rate case filing. The Commission approved the settlement on Feb. 24, 2015. The result is a three-year rate plan, with moderate rate increases in 2015 and 2016, and a small decrease in 2017.
Under the settlement agreement, typical residential rates will increase by 1.31 percent in 2015 and estimated 0.97 percent in 2016; there will be a slight decrease of approximately 0.15 percent in 2017. Typical small-business customers would see similar changes.
Learn more about how these critical investments are working to deliver ongoing value to you in the “Customer Value” section below.
View our Rate Case Overview for more information on what a rate case is, and why we file them.
We are committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable energy at an affordable price to our customers, while also being a responsible member of the communities we serve. This dedication to delivering value and building meaningful relationships is a cornerstone of our business and we proudly bring this to our operations in Colorado where we serve nearly 1.4 million electricity customers.
Modernizing & Investing in The System
Xcel Energy continues to plan ahead with strategic projects that modernize our fleet of generating plants, better positioning operations for the future. We have completed a number of facility upgrades and technology improvements to reduce emissions and strengthen overall performance of our system. This rate case seeks recovery for these projects.
We have a comprehensive plan for power plant technology improvements that deliver cleaner air and continued electric reliability at a low cost—and will continue to serve customers for decades to come. These investments are part of a state plan to improve air quality and regional haze that was approved in 2010-11. Projects completed and underway include:
Converting Cherokee Generating Station, an aging coal plant nearing retirement located just north of downtown Denver, to a highly efficient natural gas plant.
Adding modern emission controls at two plants--Hayden Generation Station in near Hayden, Colo. and at Pawnee Generating Station, near Brush, Colo.
As part of this rate case, we requested permission to create a bill rider to recover a percentage of costs associated with these modernization projects. Typical residential and commercial customers will see a 1.4 percent monthly bill increase from the rider.
Cleaner Air, Better Environment
Xcel Energy’s environmental strategy is driven by smart investment choices, ones that our customers want and value. Our strategy has worked for customers and the communities we serve because it balances cost and environmental improvement with operating a reliable utility system.
Over the last decade, we have proactively reduced emissions and today are on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions system wide in Colorado by 35 percent by 2020 (from 2005 levels).
More Resilient Grid
Xcel Energy operates the fourth largest and one of the fastest growing transmission systems in the United States. And we have the resources and expertise to complete complex construction projects on time and on budget.
We carefully select capital projects to provide the greatest value in terms of customer demand and growing energy needs. By looking at the big picture, we can invest in a stronger, more resilient energy grid that can reliably serve customers for the next 50 years.
Service You Can Count On
Customers depend on us for a speedy response when the going gets tough—especially when wildfires, floods and other weather-related events disrupt service and cause extensive damage.
In 2013, when monumental flooding along Colorado’s Front Range washed out roads, isolated entire communities, destroyed home and businesses and even claimed lives, our employees immediately rose to the challenge. Our crews worked around the clock in extremely difficult conditions to get customers backing service in record time. We’re always there: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.
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What is a rate case?
Just like any business, we must cover the costs of being in and doing business. For a utility, that includes providing energy to homes and businesses, meeting increasing regulations and making investments to maintain and improve our infrastructure. We file rate cases when those costs rise more than our sales grow.
Who approves rate cases and what criteria are used?
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is responsible for reviewing and approving our rate cases. The PUC consists of three individuals appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate for four-year terms. The PUC ensures customers receive reliable, efficient and safe service at reasonable rates and that our investors earn a fair return on their investment.
When was the last time Xcel Energy asked for a Colorado electric rate increase?
Xcel Energy last filed for an electric rate case in 2011, which established rates through the end of 2014.
How much will my rates go up?
On Feb. 24, 2015, the Commission approved a settlement agreement on this rate case, which creates a three-year rate plan, with moderate rate increases in 2015 and 2016, and a small decrease in 2017.
Under the settlement agreement, residential rates would increase by 1.31 percent in 2015 and 0.97 percent in 2016; there would be a slight decrease of 0.15 percent in 2017. Small-business customers would see similar changes.
Why is Xcel Energy asking for an increase?
Colorado’s electric infrastructure must be improved and updated to maintain a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply. It’s vital to the quality of life, economic growth and future vitality of the state. With this rate case, Xcel Energy is requesting funding for completed and planned modernization projects as well as other system investments and overall improved operations.
What are the next steps?
As part of the ratemaking process, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission will oversee a thorough review of Xcel Energy’s operations and costs, including public participation hearings, comments from ratepayer advocates and interested parties and evidentiary hearings before an administrative law judge. At the end of this process, the Commission will issue a decision, currently expected at the end of 2014. That decision will set the amount that Xcel Energy can recover from electric rates for the years 2015-2016. You can follow our rate case proceedings at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website.
What is Xcel Energy doing to help customers with rate increases?
We have an exceptional track record of providing safe, reliable and clean energy at an affordable price—and we build on that by giving our customers a wide variety of energy efficiency programs and rebates to help manage their energy use and save time and money.
Visit responsiblebynature.com to access free tools and learn more about available programs and rebates. Residential customers can call our Customer Contact Center at 1-800-895-4999 to learn more about our programs. Businesses customers can work with our team of account managers or contact our Business Solutions Center at 1-800-481-4700.
Customers who anticipate or are having a difficult time paying their bill should call us right away at 1-800-895-4999. We can create a payment plan to help customers catch up on the amounts owed, plus provide information about our company’s energy assistance programs and state and non-profit organizations that offer energy assistance funds.
Our rebates, energy efficiency programs and conservation offerings can also help customers identify energy savings opportunities and purchase the most efficient equipment to keep energy use as low as possible.
We have submitted the following testimony and exhibits to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
You can also follow the proceedings at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website. (Please allow a couple seconds for the page to load)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Jackson (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Blair (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Schell (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Hevert (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Marks (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Simon (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Perkett (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Watson (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Kopp (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Schmidt-Petree (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Robinson (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Fox (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Bloch (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Mirzayi (PDF)
Direct Testimony of Downie (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Harkness (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Schrubbe (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Lowenthal (PDF)
Direct Testimony & Attachments of Brockett (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Jackson (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Blair (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Tyson (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Hevert (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Schrubbe (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Wickes (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony of Lowenthal (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Marks (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Simon (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Perkett (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Watson (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony of Kopp (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Robinson (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Fox (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony of Landrum (PDF)
Rebuttal Testimony & Attachments of Brockett (PDF)
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