Tue May 31, 2011

Xcel Energy's Tiered Summer Rates Return

Starting Wednesday June 1, Xcel Energy will resume a two-tiered seasonal rate that it first introduced to Colorado customers last summer.

From June through September, Xcel Energy customers will pay 4.6 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 500 kilowatt-hours they use in a month. Above that, the higher Tier 2 rate of 9 cents per kilowatt-hour applies.


“We're always asking our customers to try to conserve where they can, when they can; particularly during those high-use hours of 2 to 8 pm, especially on those very hot days,” says Xcel Energy spokesperson Michelle Aguayo. 

She adds that although the tiered rates can serve as an incentive to reduce electricity use, the utility isn’t trying to force people to do without essentials like air conditioning.  “What it really means is, maybe, moving doing your laundry to later hours, or maybe running the dishwasher later instead of during that prime time.

Energy demand is typically at its highest during the summer months. Even so, Aguayo says most Xcel customers – about 70% – didn’t pay more last summer with the tiered rate than they would have with a flat rate. She says the average residential electrical use is 632 kilowatt-hours per month.