KUSA - Xcel is seeking its first rate increase in five years.

Under a proposal submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Monday, rates for residential customers will go up by about 6.5%, according to a press release from the company.

If the new rate is approved, Xcel said the average bill for homeowners would go up about $4.50 per month.

Small businesses would pay about $6.80 more each month, the company said.

Xcel said the new rates would raise $158 million in revenue for infrastructure.

The money would be used for new technology that includes:

  • Next-generation technology to strengthen and improve the resiliency of the electric grid. Xcel said this will help them to restore outages faster.
  • Meters that provide near real-time information that Xcel said will help customers adjust usage and save money.
  • The infrastructure needed to serve more than 80,000 additional residential customers since the last review in 2014, according to Xcel.
  • Accelerating wildfire safety, prevention and mitigation efforts and upgrading infrastructure to reduce the risk of damage due to wildfires.
  • An initiative to help communities and businesses achieve their sustainability goals through what Xcel calls "better tracking of their use of renewable energy." 

For those that use combined energy, Xcel said the rate increase would not affect the natural gas portion of their bill.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will now review the request and Xcel said there will be opportunity for public comment. If the proposal is approved, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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