Thought Your Electric Bill Was High Now, Just Wait!
Over the weekend, I received a mailout from Xcel. Let's just say this mailout made me scream, "aw, c'mon, really."
If you received this then you know what I'm talking about, if you didn't, then you might want to prepare yourself because it looks like starting in October your electric bill will get higher.
I don't know about you but my electric bills this summer have been outrageous and my pocketbook is taking a big hit and I'm not looking forward to it taking an even bigger hit right before the holiday season. The surcharge will be in place for 12 months, from October 1, 2022-September 30, 2023. The way the mailout explained that
A residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will incur an average surcharge of $10.39 per month or 7.8% for the months the surcharge is in effect.
According to my last Xcel bill I used 2037 kWh. Under the new surcharge, I would be paying about an extra $21 per month. I know $20 isn't a whole lot more, but for some, that's a lot of money. This particular net surcharge is connected to the tariffs approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas Docket No. 51802. I don't understand all the legal mumbo jumbo in the notice mailed out all I know is our electric bills will include higher surcharges than normal for at least a year. Hopefully, after that year, these surcharges will disappear or our bills will just be raised to what we pay now.
I did reach out to Xcel for clarification or to at least put it in layman's terms, but as of the publish time, I had not received a response. If I do, I will update this article.
UPDATE August 16, 2022, 9:10 AM: I did hear back from Xcel and they sent me this information to help explain the notice:
"Xcel Energy has submitted a proposal to the Public Utility Commission of Texas to implement a one-year base-rate surcharge starting Oct. 1 that accounts for revenue from a base rate increase that was approved in 2021 but did not appear on customer bills until a final order was received this year.
A major capital expansion of the power grid to accommodate growth and assist area communities in attracting more job-creating businesses was the primary driver for the 2021 rate increase. These investments include new substations and lines across Xcel Energy’s Texas service area that were constructed to keep pace with growth and harden the grid against extreme weather. Additionally, Xcel Energy added new supplies of clean wind energy that are generating more in annual fuel cost savings than they cost to operate.
When the PUCT granted the 2021 base rate increase it also authorized Xcel Energy to file a billing surcharge to recover the $89 million in revenue that was not collected from Texas retail customers between March 1, 2021 – the effective date for new rates – and March 1 of this year when the PUCT granted the final order to begin charging new rates.
If approved, the surcharge would appear on customer bills starting Oct. 1 and expire Sept. 30, 2023. The impact on a residential bill of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would be $10.39 more per month during that time period."
It's unfortunate that for most of the population, the cost of everything is rising, but the pay people are receiving isn't adjusting to the cost of living. Most of us are struggling to get by and living paycheck to paycheck. Some aren't that lucky and are having to make sacrifices. Hopefully, soon everything will level out including our utility bills. Families shouldn't have to decide between putting food on the table or having electricity.