AMARILLO, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – The following is a news release from Xcel Energy:
A Texas administrative law judge has approved an Xcel Energy plan to refund $39.4 million in fuel costs to Texas customers starting in May.
The refund reflects a continued drop in prices for power plant fuel and the increased use of low-cost wind energy resources. The refund will be based on the amount of electricity customers use in May. For a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, the refund will show as a credit of $35.60. This credit could be spread over two months depending on when a customer’s meter is read.
The approved refund will mark the third time Xcel Energy has refunded fuel costs since January 2019. This and the previous two refunds amount to approximately $70 million. The latest refund is in addition to an April 1 ongoing reduction in monthly fuel factors that lowers billings to customers by more than $58 million annually, resulting in a 4.3% monthly reduction on a typical residential bill of 1,000 kilowatt-hours.
Electricity generated at natural gas-fueled power plants and from area wind farms is currently cheaper than electricity from coal-fueled power plants. New wind energy plants in the area have no associated fuel costs because they capture the region’s free and abundant wind in the production of electricity. In June 2019, Xcel Energy began producing electricity at the Hale Wind Project near Plainview, adding 478 megawatts of wind energy capacity to the region’s generating mix and contributing to a 5% overall drop in residential bills last summer.
Construction continues on a second regional wind energy plant that will be owned by Xcel Energy – the Sagamore Wind Project near Portales, New Mexico, in Roosevelt County. Sagamore is expected to reduce fuel costs further in 2021. Hale and Sagamore also will play large roles in helping Xcel Energy reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2030.
(News release from Xcel Energy)