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Boulder to Xcel: We don’t want your rate-increase settlement

BOULDER — City officials in Boulder this week told Xcel Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: XEL) that they are not interested in a settlement offer from the utility related to a rate increase that Xcel floated to state regulators last year.

In November 2022 Xcel applied to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a rate increase that would allow the utility to raise an additional $262.3 million from customers. Residential electricity users would see bills rise by 8.4% under the proposal, while small businesses would pay an additional 7.8%.

“Though the application included items the city strongly supports, such as investment in wildfire mitigation, it also proposed a 10% increase in equity return for shareholders and rate increases that would further burden residents and businesses already struggling with rising utility costs,” city officials said in a news release this week.

Hearings on Xcel’s rate increase plans are set to be held next month by the PUC, which will decide whether to accept, modify or reject the settlement.

“Energy affordability is at the heart of the city’s position in this case,” Jonathan Koehn, Boulder’s director of climate initiatives, said in the release. “This case has seen a record number of letters from people struggling with rising energy costs — many from Boulder community members. City staff take representing our community very seriously. As such, we couldn’t join a settlement that will still raise costs, especially considering the drivers of the increase in this case.”

Source: BizWest