Xcel Energy Power Cost Adjustment
On March 12th, 2021, we were informed by Xcel Energy to expect a higher than average bill for the month of February. On March 15th, 2021, we were presented with a bill in the amount of $9.78M, which is roughly $6.4M more than what we budget for February. This bill alone represents 30% of what we budget annually for our purchased power. Below are some answers to questions you may have regarding the bill we received and what this means for our members.
Yampa Valley Electric Association does not produce energy, meaning we buy our electricity from suppliers. What those suppliers charge us is what we pass on to members in their monthly bills. Sometimes this is in the form of savings and, unfortunately, this time it is in the form of a price increase. When we receive a bill from Xcel, we pass those costs to our members, not at a markup. When we need to make an adjustment to the price of kilowatts, we do this via a PCA.
We will take your March billing and use those kilowatt hours to determine what your total PCA is and then will spread it over the next 7 months. The PCA adjustment is $.1172 for kilowatts used. For example, if your March billing shows 800 kilowatts used, your PCA is $93.76.
800 kilowatts x $.1172 = $93.76.
Please note that we assessed a PCA adjustment of $.01 on March 1st. If you were charged this, we will subtract it from your total payment. In this example, you would have paid $8 on your previous billing. We would subtract $8 from $93.76, meaning you have a balance of $85.76. Your monthly payment will be $12.25.
$93.76 - $8 = $85.76 $85.76/7 = $12.25/month
You will see a line item on your bill labeled "Feb. Xcel Power Cost Adj."
Texas and the Southwest experienced an extreme weather event that led to an increased demand in natural gas, caused by a lack of supply when it comes to natural gas. Pipes and natural gas headends were not properly winterized, meaning they froze and not enough natural gas was available for homes or power plants. As natural gas is a commodity, the increase in demand and lack of supply drove prices to historic levels. When Xcel was purchasing these credits, they were doing so at the elevated level, roughly 100x the price of natural gas the previous day.
We are working with regulatory commissioners to get a full understanding of the how and why these things happened. At the very least, we are pushing to put rules and regulations in place to try and prevent something like this from happening again.
Here is the letter we received from Xcel on March 23rd, 2021:
Yes! Yampa Valley Electric passes PCA's on to our membership, up or down. We passed along a PCA savings of $1,408,337.60 in 2019 and $878,889.38 in 2020. You should have seen this credit returned to your billing statements in September, November, and December for 2019, and your billing statement of November, 2020.
Area lighting will also be paying the PCA and it will be reflected on bills as “February Xcel Energy Price Cost Adjustment.
You will be expected to pay the remaining balance on your final bill.
No. We are currently paying out for 2003. The cost causer has to be the cost payer, meaning we are not going to take money out of capital credit retirements.
Get in contact with our member services agents. This should be your first stop for any billing questions you have or if you need assistance with payments on your bill. We are here to help you, whether that is in-house or getting you in contact with your local agency that can help assist you with financial energy assistance. Our member service agents can be reached at 970-879-1160.
After hearing feedback form our membership, we are putting PCAs that are $25 or less on your May bill as a one time amount. Should you prefer to set up a payment arrangement, please reach out to member services to arrange a payment plan.
If you would rather pay your PCA as a single payment, please contact member services at (970) 879-1160 and they can assist you with this payment.