LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — A local ministry called the FOX31 Problem Solvers for help after getting an Xcel Energy bill for more than $6,000.
At Mean Street Ministry in Lakewood, between a warm cup of coffee and a trip to the food pantry, there’s humanity for the homeless and the families fighting to feed their own at a growing rate.
“One of the guys you saw out there is an engineer, the lady with the white hair, she used to own a beauty salon,” Mean Street Ministry founder James Fry said. “Our whole mission is based on: How do we get to know you and how do we address the issues?”
Now the nonprofit is struggling to face an issue of its own after receiving this month’s Xcel bill, costing $6,203. The ministry splits the bill three ways between the church and a nonprofit school that shares the building.
“That’s a $1,000 a month increase for each one of the ministries here,” Fry said. “This could send us packing.”
Xcel responds, points to payment options
The FOX31 Problem Solvers sent the bill to Xcel, explaining all of the ways energy serves the community through the building.
“Since you reached out, we have contacted and talked with the customer and helped put them on an average monthly payment that is affordable for them and something that they can that they can do,” said Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Xcel’s regional vice president of state affairs and community relations.
Xcel told FOX31 that its representatives also informed the ministry about a nonprofit energy assistance program that could possibly help with the costs.
“We understand the pressures of these high utility bills at this time, given the cold weather and the high natural gas prices, and we are always willing to figure out how to find a solution for our customers,” Velasquez Horvath said.
Xcel said there are a couple of different ways in which they help customers.
“We can place them on a monthly payment plan, we can average out their monthly bills, and that gives them a stabilized rate and they’re not having to worry about an unpredictable utility bill every month,” Velasquez Horvath said. “In addition to that, we can offer rebates, which we had done last summer.”
The Xcel Customer Care line for customers to call is 1-800-895-4999.