Colorado PUC Denies Xcel Request for Interim Rate Hike

By admin Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has denied Xcel Energy Inc.’s request for a $100 million interim electricity-rate hike while regulators review the utility’s request for a $141.9 million increase.  The requested increase, if approved, would raise the average residential monthly electric bill by about 6 percent.

Last November Xcel requested a $141.9 million increase, to be effective starting Dec. 23rd.  But since it could be this coming summer before the PUC reaches Solar Dollarsa decision on the request, Xcel asked for the interim hike.  The PUC rejected that request this past Wednesday, saying the company failed to show it would be adversely impacted by maintaining current rates while the commission reviews the $141.9 million request.

Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz says Xcel officials are disappointed because they feel “regulatory lag” is a growing concern, but they’re looking forward to deliberations on the full request.

Arise Energy Solutions Perspective:

“This is great news for Colorado residents living in Xcel’s service area,” said Jim Bartlett, Arise Energy co-founder and CEO.  “After the sizable rate increases we experienced just 18 months ago, this interim increase seems particularly onerous – thus we were very pleased to see the PUC’s ruling against Xcel in this case.”

“Although we’ve received good news for the time being, it’s very likely that Xcel will receive approval for a sizable portion of the requested rate increase later this year following the PUC’s full review of the request,” said Bartlett.  “This should reinforce the importance of making greater investments in renewable energy solutions — and sooner rather than later.  As electric utility rates go up, our solar energy clients see a corresponding increase in the return-on-investment (ROI) from their systems.  That means faster paybacks, and thus a more compelling reason for investing in solar energy now.”

For more information on how a solar energy system can lock in energy rates, save money, and reduce carbon footprints, contact Arise Energy Systems for a free consultation and site assessment.   Call 720-468-3225 or email jbartlett@AriseEnergy.com.