Amarillo, TX (KFDA) - You can expect to save money on your Xcel Energy bill this winter, but the savings may not stick around for long.
For the second time in the past 12 months, Xcel is passing their fuel savings on to customers. New transmission lines are bringing in a higher amount of cheaper power to the Panhandle and natural gas prices are low. This means Xcel is saving money, and the company is passing on those savings to you.
In February, the average bill will be $2.51 less. This will cancel out the new $1.11 rate increase that will appear on February bills as well. "So one is canceling out the other," said Xcel Energy spokesperson Wes Reeves. "But the good news is, if you look back over the past 12 months, it actually adds up to a $9 savings. If you look at your bill from February 2015 to what you'll be paying in February 2016, if you're using about 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, there's a little bit more than a $9 difference on that. So we're seeing some good trends here."
The good trends may not last long. Xcel is eying a future rate increase to pay for more than $1 billion in recent infrastructure upgrades. "We've invested a lot of money in new substations, power lines, generating equipment and we've got to be able to recover those costs somehow," said Reeves. "We're going to come back fairly soon with another proposal to raise the base rate, but at least these fuel prices being low are helping to mitigate those increases."
Reeves said it's too soon to know exactly what the rate increase proposal will be, but Xcel will have a better idea next month.
The savings starting in February only affect Texas customers. Xcel said New Mexico customers are already seeing lower energy bills because their fuel costs in New Mexico are adjusted more frequently.
Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10