Make sure Xcel uses a fair billing system

Xcel wants to change the way it bills us for the electricity we use. If done right, this new system can save us money and help more Coloradans go solar.

The way you are charged for the electricity you use is changing.

Currently, you pay the same amount for the electricity you consume no matter the time of day, or the day of the year. Xcel Energy has proposed moving to a different system.

They want to vary how much you are charged based upon when you are using electricity. This is known as time of use pricing.

This pricing model can help save us money. It can also make our electric grid more reliable. But, this can only happen if it is correctly deployed.

Xcel Energy needs the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to approve this change. It’s important that you contact commissioners to

A good time of use program will be:

  • Easy to understand: Xcel’s time of use program needs to make it clear to you how electricity prices will change. Xcel can do this by showing you what you would pay under time of use while you are still being charged at the traditional rate. This is called “shadow billing”. Xcel should provide this on your bill for at least six months before switching to a time-of-use rate.
  • Fair to all users: High energy bills are a particular hardship for low-income families. These are also often the customers least able to make changes to their energy use. Xcel can help these customers by offering incentives to purchase devices to help these customers better control their energy use. The time of use program should also allow customers to revert back to the original residential rate if that will cost them less.
  • Encourage solar and other technologies: Done well, time of use billing empowers you to take control of your energy use. It must also account for the value that your investment in things like solar energy, energy efficient appliances, and electric vehicles bring to the electric grid.

The commission is meeting June 16 – 19. Your comments will have the most impact if you submit them by June 12.