Xcel Energy customers might see an increase in their electricity bill starting this November.
Natural gas costs have gone up, so the energy company has proposed a change to the monthly fuel cost factor.
Xcel Energy buys coal and natural gas to fuel about half of the electricity supply for our region. Those costs are then passed on to customers.
Wes Reeves, with Xcel Energy, said as the price of these items increases so does the fuel cost factor on your electricity bill.
“Those costs have been really low, historically low and continued to be historically low but they have been on the increase since earlier in the year when we last set our factor,” Reeves said. “So, the factor is basically the fuel rate on your bill.”
In Texas, the fuel cost factor can only be changed three times a year. To put this change into perspective a residential bill of 1,000 kilowatt-hours would increase by about $6.29 per month.
“This is really a temporary change related to natural gas costs earlier in the year, and as I understand it natural gas costs have had begun to fall again so that'll be reflected the next time that we changed the fuel cost factor,” Reeves said.
The fuel cost factor is expected to decrease at the beginning of 2021 when the Xcel Sagamore Wind Farm in New Mexico is operating.
“It will significantly impact our fuel cost in a good way because the wind farms don’t have any fuel associated with them, the fuel is free essentially in that case,” Reeves said.
The fuel cost factor change has been filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and is waiting to be approved.