Some Xcel bills show unexpected charges

Some Grand Valley residents are opening their Xcel energy bills to find unexpected charges.

Xcel was approved to charge rate increases starting June 1 on a two-tier system, charging more per kilowatt-hour used for customers who use more than 500 kwh.

But customers are opening their bills to find explanations of charges that don’t add up.

Xcel bills run on about a 30-day period, so bills may start in midmonth and run to the middle of the next month. In May, customers would have been charged the winter rate and energy used in June would be charged the increased summer rates.

However, Xcel officials said, they pro-rated the new rates for customers in June, without first advertising how that formula would work.

Charges for June were calculated on a daily average, the company said.

Winter rates were 3.15 cents per kwh, while summer rates below the 500 kwh threshold are 4.6 cents per kwh. Customers who use more than the 500 kwh are charged 9 cents per kwh beyond the 500 kwh.

Xcel rate increases between June 1 and Sept. 30 were approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Xcel said in a press release that the rate increases are intended to show customers the increased costs of providing energy service in the summer months and can be used as an incentive for customers to limit energy use.


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