Consumer Advisory: Increase to natural gas service costs to Colorado consumers sought by Xcel Energy

The Office of Consumer Counsel advises consumers to be aware of the proposal and how it may affect them, and where to send in comments

DENVER (June 20, 2017) -- The Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), which advises and advocates on behalf of consumers regarding state regulated utility costs, is advising consumers to be aware of the increase that Xcel Energy/Public Service Company of Colorado is seeking for natural gas service in Colorado. On June 2, 2017, Xcel Energy’s gas department filed a request with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a net increase in its natural gas revenues of $139 million over three years (2018, 2019 and 2020). Highlights of the Company’s request include:

  • Implementation of a multi-year plan (MYP) for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020
  • Extension of the current Quality of Service Plan for the gas department through the end of the MYP term
  • Inclusion of revenues currently recovered in the pipeline safety rider (PSIA – a line tracker on a customer’s bill as explained below) in base rates in 2019
  • Allowing the PSIA tracker to expire on December 31, 2018, if the MYP is approved
  • The Company has proposed to operate under an Earnings Test to address the over-recovery of revenues.

The requested increase in revenues during the term of the MYP and the resulting General Rate Schedule Adjustments (percentage increase applied to all rates) are as follows:

Year

Starting GRSA

Additional GRSA

Total GRSA

Revenue Increase

Revenue Increase less PSIA Roll-in

2018

17.12%

16.52%

33.64%

$63,195,261

$63,195,261

2019

33.64%

32.29%

65.93%

$126,826,936

$32,943,900

2020

65.93%

10.53%

76.46%

$42,915,002

$42,915,002

Total

 

 

 

$232,937,199

$139,054,163

The Company included the condition that if the proposed MYP is approved, the Company will commit to filing a Phase II rate design case to readjust rates among its rate classes in early 2019. The PSIA is a customer charge that enables Xcel to collect funds to pay the costs of performing system inspections, repairs, and replacements of its more than 24,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in Colorado. The PSIA customer charge has been in place for about seven years.

The projected bill impacts of the Company’s proposed MYP on a typical customer and small commercial customer are as follows:

 

2018 Impact

2019 Impact

2020 Impact

Residential

$2.73

6.08%

$2.19

4.58%

$1.74

3.49%

Small Commercial

$10.91

5.67%

$6.97

3.43%

$6.95

3.31%

Xcel proposes approval to earn a Return on Equity (ROE) of 10%; an increase from the current ROE of 9.5%.

The PUC suspended Xcel’s request from taking effect in July 2017 and referred the matter to an Administrative Law Judge at the June 14, 2017 Commissioners’ Weekly Meeting.

For more information and detail on the filing you can access the filing and responses through the PUC electronic filings system at the link below and search using proceeding No. 17AL-0363G. https://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/efi/EFI.homepage

Information can also be found at Xcel’s website at: https://www.xcelenergy.com/company/rates_and_regulations/rates/rate_case...

If you would like the Commission to know your concerns about this particular issue, you may register your comments by filling out an On-Line Comment form at the link below, by email to dora_PUC_complaints@state.co.us, or mail to: 1560 Broadway, suite 250, Denver, CO 80202. 

On-Line Comment Form: http://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/real/CCTS_oWEB.comment_form

The Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), a division within the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), represents residential, small business, and agricultural utility consumers as a class in electric and natural gas proceedings before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The OCC does not regulate; it advises and advocates on behalf of consumers. The OCC helps consumers by lowering or eliminating proposed utility rate increases and by ensuring that utility rates, regulations and policies are more equitable for residential, small business, and agricultural consumers.

 
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About DORA
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. DPO, a DORA division, provides consumer protection through its regulation of nearly 400,000 licensees within more than 50 professions, occupations, and entities in the State of Colorado. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675 outside of Denver. 

Media Contact:
Rebecca Laurie
Department of Regulatory Agencies
p: 303-894-2338 | c: 720-724-0612