We take an actual bill directly to Xcel and ask for a line-by-line explanation.
DENVER — These days, reading an Xcel invoice requires a handful of TUMS.
The reverse of the bill is just as difficult to read. Describe the reason for each charge, if you can understand the explanation.
To use a line from Beetlejuice: “This thing reads like stereo instructions.”
Xcel Energy’s regional vice president of pricing and regulation, Steven Berman, helped describe, line by line, the reason for each charge on electric and gas bills.
Pull out your latest bill and buckle up.
These are the charges for your home meter, meter reading, billing, and Xcel customer service.
“Things like a meter, our customer service organization and services that are generally fixed costs,” Berman said. “The portion of your bill related to your home meter, to our customer support organization, to other service organizations within the company, such as IT and finance, where those are fixed costs.”
RETOU At the peak | RETOU Mid/Pk/Shoulder | RETOU off-peak
These are usage charges. For customers with a smart meter who have time-of-use rates, these usage charges are divided into three different lines, depending on the time of day:
- The more expensive charge “RETOU On-Peak” is for use from 3 pm to 7 pm during the week.
- The average peak is from 1 pm to 3 pm from Monday to Friday.
- Low season is 7 pm to 1 pm during the week, all day on weekends and holidays.
Customers who have general residential prices will see this as a line on their bill.
What does this part of the bill pay for?
“That will cover everything in our service territory, all of our generating facilities, most of our transmission, our distribution, all of those things that are not considered service and installation,” Berman said.
GRSA E (Adjustment to the General Rate Schedule)
This is a rate change to cover Xcel’s electricity delivery costs that are not accounted for in the general pricing or airtime section.
“The first step is to come up with the total amount that the business needs to operate, and then the second step is a separate procedure, to divide it up and say, ‘How should it be divided between your residential, commercial, industrial, all of your different rate classes.’ Those two things happen at different times, and in between those two procedures, we put kind of a peanut butter spread on those classes,” Berman said.
The GRSA represents a rate change before it is directly integrated into the airtime charge or overall price.
And it has to be approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which regulates Colorado utility companies.
“Each of these lines have arisen from various proceedings before the commission, where the company has sought to recover the costs that we spend on certain programs,” Berman said.
EGCRR (extraordinary gas cost recovery clause)
This is a charge related to the February 2021 cold snap when Xcel had to purchase very expensive natural gas to generate electricity. This is the charge, approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, to pay Xcel for the purchase of that gas. Reimbursement on the electric side of the bill will last through July 2024. This charge also appears on your natural gas bill.
Transaction Cost Adjustment (Transmission cost adjustment)
This is a fee for the incremental transmission investment between the base fee adjustments.
“All of your base fees here that are being multiplied by your usage were set at one point in time, and for transmission investment we continue to be able to charge those investments as we incur them, between times we change those rates on the top line Berman said. “So that’s an addendum that’s just raising that incremental investment as it comes into service.”
ECA (Electrical Commodity Adjustment)
This is the cost of the fuel used to generate the electricity you use.
“ECA is energy cost adjustment. So, that’s actually your fuel cost. And that adjusts, those rates are adjusted quarterly based on actual fuel costs,” Berman said. “The company incurs costs for fuel, coal, gas, and we pass those costs directly to customers without a surcharge.”
Because rates change quarterly, bills like the current bill Xcel customers receive will have two lines for this charge. One ECA charge is for the December price and the other ECA charge is for January.
“Your biggest charge is your ECA, which is the actual fuel,” Berman said.
Demand Side Management (Demand Side Management)
This is one of the charges customers pay to help Xcel pay incentives.
“Demand-side management is the costs that the company spends to promote energy efficiency, money that we spend with companies to help them improve their lighting, improve their energy use,” Berman said. “There are residential programs that customers can take advantage of there.”
Those programs include Xcel coming to your home to perform an energy audit and rebates for energy efficient appliance purchases.
“You’re paying to develop programs that are available to all residential customers,” Berman said. “Incentivizing that energy efficiency reduces the need for the company to build more generation, which would increase its top line.”
PurchCapCostAdj (Purchase Capacity Cost Adjustment)
This is a fee that Xcel pays for purchasing from third parties, as Xcel does not have the ability to generate and reserve enough on its own.
“It’s not the actual power, it’s not the actual coal or gas, it’s the capacity that we buy from a third party because we don’t have enough in our system to have the capacity that we need,” Berman said.
Trans Elec Plan (Electrification of Transport)
This is to fund more incentive programs, particularly around electrification. This includes discounts to install an electric vehicle charging station in your home.
“Lots of EV programs that the company has that EV owners can take advantage of,” Berman said. “State Policy to Incentivize Electric Vehicle Adoption”.
Renew. Energy Std Adj (Renewable Energy Standard Adjustment)
This charge is 1% of the electric bill to finance renewable energy projects.
“Another rider to collect costs to fund renewable programs that the company is bringing online to pay for those renewable resources,” Berman said.
This pays for early retirement from multiple Xcel coal plants.
“The commission approved the company to retire the coal plants early, and this is a collection of costs to pay for that early retirement,” Berman said.
This is a fee established by state legislators as of a bill passed in 2021. There is a 75-cent fee on electric and gas bills to help fund energy payment assistance. And it turns out that you can request not to have to pay these charges.
“It’s a charge customers can opt out of, however it’s standard on bills, and those dollars go to help low-income customers,” Berman said.
NATURAL GAS BILLS
This is the conversion from cubic feet of natural gas (volume) to energy (therms).
Like the electric side, these are charges for the gas meter at your home, meter reading, billing, and Xcel customer service.
This charge covers piping and storage, the means by which Xcel delivers gas to your home.
This is a charge that covers the cost of how Xcel moves the gas into your system.
This is your actual gas usage. Like the ECA on the electric bill, the rate changes quarterly, so there may be a December charge with one rate and a January charge with another rate.
DSMCA (Demand Side Management Cost Adjustment)
Like the electric side of the bill, this is one of the charges customers pay to help Xcel pay incentives.
GRSA-P (General Rate Schedule Adjustment – Pipeline System Integrity Adjustment)
Your eyes do not deceive you. This is a small credit on your bill. It reflects a rate change in our benefit. Xcel raised too much money for pipeline security.
“If we overcharge or undercharge, there’s a correction. You’ll notice it’s a credit. So there was an overcharge and we’re in the process of crediting customers,” Berman said.
EGCRR (extraordinary gas cost recovery clause)
This is a charge related to the February 2021 cold snap when Xcel had to buy really expensive natural gas. On your natural gas bill, this is to pay Xcel back for the gas you purchased and used to heat your home during that brief period in mid-February. It was approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Payment on the natural gas side of the bill will last until January 2025.
GRSA (Adjustment to the General Rate Schedule)
This is a rate change to cover Xcel’s costs of providing natural gas that are not accounted for in the natural gas line item.
Similar to the electric side, this is a charge set by state legislators as of a bill passed in 2021. There is a 75-cent charge on electric and gas bills to help fund emergency assistance. energy payment. To opt out of this charge, you may call 1-800-895-4999.
If you need energy assistance, you can call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435).
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