DENVER (KDVR) — If your utility bill seems outrageously expensive now, it’s because you’re being charged three times as much as you were three years ago.
Gov. Jared Polis is appointing a committee to investigate the surging energy costs Coloradans say have cranked bills two or three times higher than they’re used to.
Xcel Energy officials have made no secret they’re charging more. They have sought, and gained approval, for several price hikes over the last few years as turbulent energy markets pushed their own production costs higher. Customers, Xcel said, are footing the bill for natural gas prices.
Rate records paint the picture clearly. Xcel customers are being charged three times as much for natural gas now as they were before the pandemic.
In January 2020, Xcel charged residential customers 40 cents per therm for natural gas, which heats roughly two-thirds of Colorado’s homes. That rose steadily and had doubled by April 2022.
Then, rates spiked drastically. In the summer and in October of last year, Xcel charged $1.17 per therm.
Electricity rates have risen as well, though not as dramatically as gas. Depending on the time of use, Xcel charged between 36% and 58% more in October 2022 than in 2020.
Xcel posted record profits and record shareholder returns in 2022, according to U.S. Security Exchange Commission filings and the company’s most recent earnings call.
Net income, or profit, has nearly tripled since 2009 from $681 million to $1.74 billion last year. Earnings per share were $3.17 in 2022, more than double the $1.48 per share in 2009.