Xcel Energy is highly committed to the communities we serve. Over the next five years, we plan to invest $14.5 billion in our electric and natural gas businesses to ensure we continue to provide our communities with the safe, reliable and affordable energy they depend on, as well as energy with less environmental impact. The energy landscape is changing, and we are responding with a comprehensive, forward-thinking approach that includes strengthening our infrastructure and making sure it is resilient and secure. As Xcel Energy works to operate more competitively, controlling company costs, leveraging technology to improve our processes and working to establish longer-term regulatory agreements all play a key role in our future. To meet the interests of individual cities and towns, we are seeking to implement constructive solutions—such as the innovative Clean Energy Partnership we established with Minneapolis in 2014. We want to ensure our communities remain desirable places for everyone to live, work or own a business. Beyond our core business, our company and employees find ways through the Xcel Energy Foundation and our community giving efforts to contribute to the economic prosperity and quality of life in communities we serve.
- Xcel Energy’s system reliability results consistently rank near the top one-third of U.S. electric utilities. On average, our customers have electricity more than 99.9 percent of the time.
- Xcel Energy’s rates are competitive both nationally and in the states we serve. To help maintain affordable rates for customers, we are controlling costs. In 2014, we limited the growth of operating and maintenance expenses to 1.8 percent, within our goal range of below 2 percent.
- Last year we expanded natural gas service to three Minnesota communities previously served by more costly propane service, an arrangement that benefits both the community and Xcel Energy. We added 1,100 new customers to our system that will save money on their monthly energy bills while we expect to increase annual revenue by about $600,000.
- Xcel Energy proposed a groundbreaking new resource plan to serve communities in the Upper Midwest from 2016 to 2030. The plan charts a path to more than double the company’s renewable energy portfolio and deliver a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, all while keeping costs reasonable for customers and maintaining a diverse mix of energy resources.
- Xcel Energy contributed more than $45 million to communities in 2014 through a combination of foundation giving, volunteer contributions, energy assistance and support for economic development. Contributing to this, our annual United Way campaign raised $5.4 million for local nonprofit agencies, with employee participation at the highest level yet.