Skip to comments.Colorado utilities seek temporary price hikes to cover sky-high costs from February deep freeze -- Regulators will take testimony before deciding on proposed increases
Posted on 07/10/2021 4:37:31 PM PDT by george76
Customers across Colorado could see higher electric and natural gas bills if regulators approve proposals by utilities to recover costs from a winter storm that had them scrambling along with many other companies to buy enough fuel to make it through the freezing weather.
During its meeting Wednesday, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission will consider the next steps after receiving applications from Xcel Energy-Colorado and Black Hills Energy, which have proposed spreading out the expense for customers over at least a year.
The PUC is reviewing how utilities prepared for the weather in February. The frigid weather that gripped the central part of the country from Texas north sent customer demand and natural gas prices soaring.
Xcel Energy has said its fuel costs shot up by about $965 million during the deep freeze Feb. 13-16. The company is proposing to spread customers’ costs over 24 months.
The average residential bills would rise by $6.20 per month for natural gas from Xcel Energy and $2.86 for electricity. Typical small commercial customers would pay $4.36 a month more on electric bills and $27.67 more a month over two years.
Black Hills Energy’s costs during the cold weather because of the exorbitant natural gas prices totaled nearly $96 million for its gas and electric operations. Under the utility’s proposal, the average residential customer would pay $3.83 more per month on electric bills for two years. The average small commercial customer would see a $14.67 monthly increase.
Black Hills Energy’s natural gas customers would see different charges in different areas, ranging from $8.05 per month to $15.48 on residential bills and from $18 to $31.86 for small commercial customers over three years.
On the West Slope, the average residential customer would pay $12.46 more a month and the average small commercial customer would pay $25.65 over a year under Black Hills Energy’s proposal.
Colorado Natural Gas Inc. and Atmos Energy Corp. are also seeking to recover costs from the February storm.
Regulated utilities can ask to recover costs from customers. Both Black Hills and Xcel Energy said they don’t make a profit on the pass-through expenses. Xcel Energy said it will set up a payment plan for customers and help them find assistance.
Vance Crocker, Black Hills Energy vice president of Colorado operations, said the company recognizes there will be financial impacts and will work with the PUC to balance consideration of customers while keeping the system running efficiently and effectively.
The PUC will hear from the public and people intervening in the case before deciding on the proposed rate increases, which could take several months.
Angry utility customers in places like Grand Valley and Grand Mesa pen poison letters: “It’s a monopoly! Reduce obscene CEO pay!”.
Colorado Ping ( Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)
Ahhhh…just put up another windmill and a solar panel…
Plus, there is no such thing as a temporary utility rate increase.
The smallish town (~8,000 population) I used to live in had a ‘temporary’ rate increase eight years ago to update the sewer system.
Eight years later; an eight million dollar and a ten million federal grant later, a million dollar emergency state grant later and the ‘temporary’ rate increase is still there, plus a 1.5% city sales tax sales tax increase ‘to fix the sewer system’ instituted five years ago, joined by a few new other surcharges on the sewer bill.
But some pointy headed Leftist intellectual in Cambridge Massachusetts decides that Colorado doesn't need cheap energy. Massachusetts people move to Colorado and yap off to everyone in earshot that coal is bad. Suddenly Colorado faces rising energy costs. You connect the dots.
“Temporary” price hikes. In the history of the world how often have “temporary” price hikes been temporary?
Well, they start out as truly temporary for now. Later they become permanent. So they were temporarily temporary. That's how!
Temporary? Sure it is. 😕
And another one for the heat wave.
“Colorado utilities seek temporary price hikes to cover sky-high costs from February deep freeze — Regulators will take testimony before deciding on proposed increases”
ignornant BS ... it normally gets REALLY cold in Colorado every winter for a few weeks, like minus 20 for several days and nights in a row, and this on the Front Range, and not just in the mountains ...
30-40 years ago this happened almost every winter, but the winters have been pretty mild compared to that for the last couple of decades, but in the long term, this past winter wasn’t exceptional at all, so if utilities were really “caught off guard” as they claim, then they haven’t been paying attention ...
the irony of course is that these utilities are all now probably being run by government “educated” fools worried about long term so-called “climate change”, yet are actually so short sighted that they can’t even view trends over the previous few decades, and this in a business where it’s crucial to anticipate and provide for energy needs that are guaranteed to fluctuate from year to year and decade to decade, sometimes wildly, meaning that energy needs themselves are guaranteed to sometimes wildly fluctuate over the decades, and that SHOULD be planned for!
Who would have known? It gets cold in Colorado in the winter. Shazzam.
Then it will be price hikes to cover the “unprecedented” hot summer days, because climate change.
Tim Wirth: We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong ~Former Colorado Senator promoting Karl Marx - socialism.
The whole country’s natural gas costs skyrocketed during the the feb freeze. This is due to supply and demand as well as shortages due to Texas gas grid going down for nearly the whole storm. Texas is by far the largest gas source in the Middle American gas grid system. Colorado being on the same grid. Texas gas producers didn’t listen when we industry professionals told them in 2011 to harden the well heads, the gas liquid separators the Y gas separation plants and most importantly back up the electric gas compressor stations with natural gas or diesel back up power sources. The natural gas grid operators FLAT OUT IGNORED the industry professionals and our recommendations for purely profit motives. When Texas gas grid went down it took.60% of the gas supply off the market in a few hours time of course the market reaction is record prices that is the market signal to cut consumption. The fact is had the Texas RRC who runs the gas grid followed the recommended course of action in 2011 the gas grid would have stayed running and the whole.shortages avoided. It was the epic failure of the RRC and the Texas gas grid when it froze up as we told them it would in subzero temps that caused not only the blackouts but also the record fuel costs. More than half of the power plants off line in the blackouts were natural gas turbine plants who simply could not get the fuel they needed due to frozen well heads and liquid separators. Texas monthly did a dang fine write up about it with all the fact check and double check and then backed up by ERCOT report to the Texas legislature they just released. The gas grid had an epic totally preventable failure period full stop.
i read that electricity had gotten so scarce at one point that consideration was given to withdrawing the remaining electricity powering the compressors, separators, and the other NG grid infrastructure by NOT making that a top priority, but that didn’t happen only because it was pointed out that if that happened, then the texas NG and power grid might not ever have been able to restart again ... texas came within a gnats whisker of TOTAL disaster because the dumbasses that operate the grid didn’t think it was possible for texas to lose electricity on that scale due to natural conditions and therefore punted on providing standalone, backup power generation for the various critical portions of the NG production and delivery infrastructure ...