DENVER — The effort to pass legislation reducing customer utility bills at the Colorado State Capitol is in part due to utility companies like Xcel Energy.
The companies aren't a fan of that.
"The bill, as it's currently written, does little to nothing to really impact customer bills," Xcel Energy Colorado President Robert Kenney said.
After testifying against the bill that is supposed to reduce utility bills in the future, Kenney took issue with what he thinks the bill is really trying to do.
"A lot of the focus seems to be on ways to eliminate natural gas or to cabin those costs to the specific communities and not really focused on ways to bring down bills," he said.
Part of the bill would eliminate incentives for property owners to start up gas service, which could be a push to renewable energy options.
"If there's uncertainty or hostility injected into the regulatory and legislative environment, some of the extra things that we might end up doing, like our transportation electrification plan, we might decrease that. We might have to make different decisions," Kenney said.
A state law passed in 2019 set out to expand electric vehicle charging stations. If a utility company installs the charging station, it would get paid back by customers with interest, because building infrastructure is where a utility makes money.
Xcel also argued that this bill would undermine Colorado's clean energy efforts.
With so many clean energy guidelines in law, Democratic State Senator Faith Winter (D-Westminster) wanted to know what the true impact would be.
"Many of the things you referenced, our carbon reduction goals, our clean heat plans, those are in law, and so can you explain to me what that tradeoff exactly is, in what you're talking about?" she asked in the hearing.
"We have to borrow that capital to be able to make those investments and if it costs us more to get that money, that gets passed on to customers, we have to make different decisions about how we will allocate capital," Kenney replied.
If Xcel were to spend money elsewhere, would that mean less reliable and safe service for what remains?
"We will never sacrifice safety and reliability," Kenney said. "Let me just say that again, we will never sacrifice safety and reliability."
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Next with Kyle Clark