December natural gas bills will jump 54% as Xcel passes a stack of price hikes on to Colorado customers

The Colorado Sun | Article Written by Mark Jaffe
 

The rate increase “is more than concerning, it is frightening,”
state consumer advocate says

 

Come this Christmas, Xcel Energy gas customers will get an unwelcome present from the utility — an approximately 54% increase in their monthly bills compared to Christmas past.

The hike in the average December bill to $177 from $115 in 2021 is being driven by a string of rate increases, which in turn has been spurred by higher natural gas prices, according to the Colorado Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate.

Piling rate hike on rate hike is called pancaking and this year’s stack is unprecedented. “IHOP is going to have to put a new entry on the menu for this,” said Cindy Schonhaut, executive director of the UCA.

“Some of it comes from the impact on what is going on internationally,” Schonhaut said, “but the impact on consumers of this kind of rate increase is astounding. It is more than concerning, it is frightening from the point of view of a consumer advocate.”

"We are very concerned about the upcoming natural gas price increases for struggling Colorado families and the dangerous choices households could make when trying to afford home heating costs."

Luke Ilderton, deputy director at EOC