DENVER (KDVR) – Despite initial projections, some of Colorado’s energy customers can expect a welcome bit of financial relief once they open their December electric bill.

On Tuesday, Xcel Energy announced that customers in the state should expect to see a drop in their natural gas bill for December after they submitted an interim fuel price adjustment to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

According to Xcel Energy, residential customers should expect to see an average drop of $33 on their energy bill for December. Additionally, small business customers will see an estimated $140 drop in their natural gas costs in December.

For those wondering where this price drop came from, there is a simple explanation as well as some adoptable habits that can increase that drop in cost as the wintry stretch of months arrives.

Why Xcel Energy customers’ energy bills will be lower in December

(Credit: Carina Johansen – NTB Scanpix via AP)

The amount a customer of Xcel Energy has to pay for their natural gas use is calculated by using the “commodity price.” The natural gas commodity price is high at the moment in response to the global supply and demand.

Commodity price adjustments for natural gas are submitted every three months, the latest of those being in mid-October. For residential customers, the forecasted commodity price to come out of the October adjustment was $1.0092, which on average resulted in a monthly bill of $197.75.

Thanks to a change in the global market, that commodity price dropped from $1.0092 per unit to $0.7576.

This changed the anticipated average monthly bill for residential Xcel Energy customers from $197.75 down to $164.71. In that same vein, the small business Xcel Energy customer’s monthly natural gas bill is expected to drop from the anticipated $796.74 down to $655.76.

Energy Saving Tips Xcel customers can adopt

Aside from the lowering of this commodity rate, there are other practices you can adopt this winter season to lower your monthly energy bill:

  • Lower your thermostat two degrees below your usual, aim for 68 degrees or lower.
  • If your thermostat is programmable, set it up to make sure the heat doesn’t continue to blast while you’re out of the house.
  • Consider opening drapes and blinds to let in direct sunlight during daylight hours and close those heat-maintaining blinds when the sun goes down.
  • Flip the little switch on your ceiling fan and run it in reverse in order to push warm air that hovers up high back down.
  • Keep interior doorways open and flowing to help circulate the air more freely, maintaining heating levels in the process.

If you are an Xcel Energy customer, you can check out some other programs and tips to consider rolling into your routine by visiting their website.