Xcel Energy Announces Decreases in Annual Electricity Prices

DENVER, April 04, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Xcel Energy customers in Colorado will see a modest decrease in annual electricity costs this year, the result of a number of filings today with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Of the two filings expected to have an impact on customer bills, Xcel Energy has requested to end the Incentive Cost Adjustment (ICA), 2.3 percent electricity “rider” introduced in June 2002. The ICA charge was put in place at that time to address unanticipated costs for generation fuel and purchased power.

The expiration of the ICA will result in an electric cost reduction of $15.72 a year for typical residential customers and $31.92 a year for typical small-business customers.

Xcel Energy also is filing the results of its 2004 Quality of Service Plan for Colorado. Under the QSP, Xcel Energy is required to meet performance measurements on average customer outage time, CPUC complaints, customer service telephone response times, natural gas leak repair times and meter-reading accuracy.

While the company met the requirements on four of these measures last year, it did not reach its targets for outage time. As a result and pending regulatory approval, the company later this year will credit electric customers approximately $5.1 million, or about $4 per customer, and provide approximately $445,000 in assistance funding to Energy Outreach Colorado.

On average, residential customers in Denver were without service for 94.11 minutes in 2004; the QSP performance target is 93 minutes. In all but one of the outlying regions of the company’s service territory, Xcel Energy met the QSP targets. For the company’s Front Range operations, however, customer outages averaged 132.96 minutes; the performance target is 123.5 minutes.

The outage times for 2004 showed clear improvement compared to 2003, when Denver customers lost service for an average 304.3 minutes, and outlying regions lost service for up average of up to 371.72 minutes. Outages in 2003 were largely the result of major snowstorms in late winter and spring, and severe summer heat.

Xcel Energy notes that it had invested approximately $25 million – in the latter half of 2003 and in 2004 — for the purpose of outage management and improved customer communications. In addition, Xcel Energy announced last year that it would continue to invest in reducing power outages, with an additional $38 million from 2005-2007, primarily for equipment replacement programs.

Later this year, Xcel Energy will file its proposal for future QSP requirements; the current electric QSP program expires at the end of 2006.

The other filings are routinely made at this time of year, or are the result of agreements previously reached by the company, the staff of the CPUC and other parties to the regulatory process. Other minor filings addressed costs associated with demand-side management programs, and various annual reports.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with operations in 10 Western and Midwestern states. The company provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. In terms of customers, it is the fourth-largest combination natural gas and electricity company in the nation. Xcel Energy’s headquarters are located in Minneapolis.

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