Xcel Energy has requested Colorado regulators to hike Natural Gas rates over the next three years, claiming that the rise will enable the company to provide consistent home heating without locking in decades of increased climate-warming emissions. The plan was presented to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Monday by the firm, which serves 1.4 million consumers across the state.
If passed, it would increase the average residential customer’s Natural Gas bill by nearly $4 in November 2022, bringing in an additional $107 million per year. In 2023 and 2024, there will be smaller rises. The money will go toward building miles of new Natural Gas pipelines across Colorado, as well as large-scale dependability upgrades in Blackhawk, Granby, and Winter Park.
It would also allow the utility to update 35,000 gas metres every year and continue to extend its customer base to new developments on the Front Range. Climate change has sparked a furious political struggle over how citizens cook and remain warm, prompting the proposed fee increase. Natural Gas hookups were banned in New York City last month, thereby necessitating electric stoves and furnaces in newly constructed buildings.
The goal of the strategy is to ensure that new houses and businesses are powered by renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Colorado’s deep blue cities have taken a more cautious approach. Building rules in both Denver and Boulder have been enacted to encourage a more gradual transition away from fossil fuels. A growing scientific worry over Natural Gas, which is mostly made up of methane, is driving these initiatives.