Xcel Energy filed with the Colorado Public Utility Commission (CPUC) on April 29 for approval to refund $14.9 million to its 1.4 million Colorado electricity customers (Docket No. 14AL-0660E) via a credit on their monthly bills.
Under the proposal, residential customers would see a decrease of 39 cents each month; and small businesses would enjoy a 56-cent reduction. The credit would take effect August 1 and last for one year, according to a report by the Denver Business Journal.
In an announcement, Xcel said the refund to customers is due to “continuing cost-control efforts by the company and a successful multi-year rate plan.”
Indeed, under the terms of a multi-year rate plan approved by the CPUC in 2012 – and extended in 2015 through 2017 – if Xcel collects too much money from ratepayers and overshoots the cap on a state-authorized return on investment, then the extra money must be credited back to customers. The current annual cap on returns is 9.83 percent.
“Our 2012 through 2014 rate plan included a mechanism that provides credits to customers if certain financial targets were exceeded. This mechanism protects our customers, provides rate certainty for both customers and the company, and helps stabilize electric costs over time,” said David Eves, president of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, at the time the multi-year plan was approved.
The one-year credit is subject to the review of the parties to the 2015 case and the approval of the commissioners.