AMARILLO, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from Xcel Energy:
July’s extreme heat has likely led to higher bills for Xcel Energy’s customers in Texas and New Mexico, and the company is urging customers to get in touch with customer agents to discuss options if they’re concerned about having funds to cover summer electricity costs.
“Our electricity prices have fallen since last summer, but overall customer bills may wind up being higher in the summer months because we all used so much more power to stay cool when the temperatures hit triple digits for days on end,” said Brad Baldridge, Xcel Energy director for Customer and Community Relations in Texas and New Mexico. “We want to work with customers who are concerned they may not have the funds to pay their bills in full, and we’d rather work something out now before customers fall further behind.”
Triple digit temperatures in July kept air conditioners running overtime, increasing the amount of electricity customers purchased and driving bills higher. Air conditioning units use a lot of electricity to remove heat from home or business interiors. The more outside heat there is, the longer air conditioners run to keep the inside temperature at a desired setting.
Xcel Energy understands that customers may not have budgeted for the additional power they needed to keep cool, so the company offers payment arrangements on a case-by-case basis, allowing customers to pay over time. These extensions vary according to individual circumstances, but most are from three to six months.
For customers facing loss of income or other hardships that prevent them from making payments, Xcel Energy’s personal account representatives can assist in connecting them with agencies in their area that offer help with utility bills. Most communities have long-established funds through local charities that can often help with utility payments, food and rental assistance. Newer funds have been set up across the area to help families affected by COVID-19 and the economic hardships it has brought.
Personal account representatives will have a listing of appropriate community funds in each town served by Xcel Energy, and will help qualified customers apply this funding to outstanding balances. Additionally, agents have been reaching out to customers who have qualified for energy assistance in the past to ensure they are aware of the resources available to them.
“We understand that a lot of people in our communities are struggling, especially with so much upheaval brought about by the pandemic,” Baldridge said. “It’s in everyone’s best interest that we offer flexible options for staying current on bills and preventing further hardship down the line.”
Customers wishing to visit with Xcel Energy about payment arrangements can call 1-800-895-4999
Monday through Friday or visit the customer support page at xcelenergy.com to learn about options and programs to help manage bills.
Agents can also point customers to energy-saving tips that will help reduce future bills, as well as inform them about incentives for making their homes and businesses more energy efficient. Information on these tips, programs and offers can be found at the Programs & Rebates link at xcelenergy.com.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across
eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
(News release from Xcel Energy)