GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KFQX) — As Xcel continues to transition into renewable energy efforts, an increase in energy costs is expected to hit.
The company’s rate request, is awaiting approval from the public utilities commission, but the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), is concerned about which customers will be charged the most, “While the increase has been reduced from $340 million to $180 million, the largest percentage 6.44% would go to residential customers,” Bill Levis, AARP Consultant.
Who make up 90% of Xcel’s 1.5 million electric customers, “In the event that the commission approves this settlement, we are still going to find ourselves in the position of being very very far below the national average,” Kelly Flenniken, Xcel Director of Community Relations.
In fact, between 30% and 35%, below the national average, according to Xcel.
AARP supports the transition to renewable energy but fears the increase in Xcel’s electric rate cost will fall on residential rate payers, especially those who can least afford it, like here in rural communities, “I do want to reframe the idea of leaving customers behind because every customer is really benefiting from being apart of this clean energy transition,” Flenniken says.
The population of Grand Junction is expected to boom, but Xcel assures all customers will receive a fair bill, “We recognize that we have all different types of customers in Colorado and their commitment to the environment, or not, is really importance to us as a business but also so to is our ability to keep bills low,” Flenniken says.
If your bill is still too high, there is help available, “We partner with other agencies or organizations, private or state run organizations that will really be able to provide some additional resources and support for customers,” Flenniken says, “Whether those are low income customers, senior customers, or customers that are just having one of those life moments.”