Confusion and anxiety lingers over rising Xcel Energy airtime prices

DENVER — Xcel Energy will soon start charging higher electricity rates during peak hours, causing a lot of confusion and anxiety among customers like Tamara Casillas.

“I’m a grandmother and I get a pension,” Casillas said.

She points out that families are paying more for everything right now, from groceries to gas.

“With inflation and everything going on in the world, things are going to pick up a bit, and it’s getting harder and harder for everyone,” she said.

Thus, the announcement by Xcel of a price increase is a new blow to its budget.

Customers will pay almost three times more during peak hours than during off-peak hours. Peak times are defined as 3-7 p.m. on weekdays, when families get home from school and work.

“It’s when we’re at home watching TV,” Casillas said. “Kids are on laptops or computers doing their homework. A lot of energy is used at this time – cooking, dishwashers, stoves.

“It’s going to cost me three times as much to cook a pizza at 5:30 p.m. as it did at 7:01 p.m.,” said a centenarian father of two.

You can opt out of the airtime program.

“I sent them two messages saying, ‘If I opt out of this – what’s the flat rate? “, Said the man of the centenary. “I could not get an answer. That’s why I contacted you.

We contacted Xcel on their behalf and yours and got a response. If you opt out of time-of-use rates, you pay $0.12 per kilowatt-hour in winter and $0.14 in summer.

If you sign up, you pay $0.10 per kilowatt hour during off-peak summer hours and $0.28 during peak summer hours. In the winter, you pay $0.10 per kilowatt hour during off-peak hours, and if you sign up, you pay $0.17 during peak hours.

“I didn’t even see the opt-out option in their posts that they sent out,” the centenarian said. “You are told what is going to happen and when you have questions you get no response from them.”

Casillas also wonders what impact this will have on Xcel’s budget billing.

“Last year the budget billing was $70 a month,” Casillas said of Xcel’s budget program. “This year, it’s already $90/month.”

She also wonders about the transparency of this new tariff structure.

“Being sneaky just isn’t fair to us,” Casillas said.

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About Raymond A. Bentley

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