December natural gas bills will jump 54% as Xcel passes a stack of price hikes on to Colorado customers

The rate increase “is more than concerning, it is frightening,” state consumer advocate says

Mark Jaffe
Colorado Sun
A residential utility gas meter in Monument on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
Olivia Sun/The Colorado Sun

Come this Christmas, Xcel Energy gas customers will get an unwelcome present from the utility — an approximately 54% increase in their monthly bills compared to Christmas past.

The hike in the average December bill to $177 from $115 in 2021 is being driven by a string of rate increases, which in turn has been spurred by higher natural gas prices, according to the Colorado Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate.

Piling rate hike on rate hike is called pancaking and this year’s stack is unprecedented. “IHOP is going to have to put a new entry on the menu for this,” said Cindy Schonhaut, executive director of the UCA.

“Some of it comes from the impact on what is going on internationally,” Schonhaut said, “but the impact on consumers of this kind of rate increase is astounding. It is more than concerning, it is frightening from the point of view of a consumer advocate.”


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.