Governor Polis Statement on Administrative Ruling Allowing Xcel Energy to Drive Up Consumer Costs

Friday, May 13, 2022

Polis Administration continues to drive transition to wind and solar energy to protect consumers from unpredictable natural gas price spikes & save Coloradans money 

DENVER — Today, Governor Polis released a statement following an administrative ruling that Xcel Energy can recover $509 million by increasing customer bills to pay for surging natural gas costs during a February 2021 storm. 

“I am disappointed that utility providers are able to balance their financial loss on the backs of consumers, when extra costs could have been avoided by better early warning systems for consumers to voluntarily reduce energy usage. This ruling acknowledges that Xcel did not properly prepare or warn Coloradans ahead of the storm, yet consumers are now literally forced to pay the price. This is another example of why it is so important that we continue to move away from natural gas to avoid these types of unpredictable price spikes in the future, and I urge the PUC to establish specific actions to take regarding voluntary usage reductions prior to imposition of any extraordinary fees for future events. Colorado consumers fared better than Texas consumers from the events in February 2021, but it really is unfair that Coloradans are paying any price. We are taking bold steps to help Colorado consumers and avoid any future surcharges like this by investing in wind and solar energy, and helping Coloradans move to use of high efficiency electric heat pumps for heating their homes, so that Coloradans are not beholden to the unpredictable price spikes of a globally traded commodity,” said Gov. Polis. 

The Polis Administration has delivered real results towards achieving 100% renewable energy by 2040.  The transition to renewable energy saves Coloradans money by protecting ratepayers from natural gas market volatility and the high operating costs of coal plants, providing robust investments in rural Colorado for wind and solar generation, and increasing good-paying green jobs. The Governor wrote a letter to the PUC on this in February 2021, urging the PUC to protect Colorado consumers from price hikes.