Xcel Rate Increases in Colorado: How More Time at Home can be Combated with Solar Panels

The Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine have created a new world which is endlessly fascinating to dissect. According to the Colorado Sun, the Centennial State has seen a dramatic decrease in criminal activity and traffic accidents, but a higher number of fights between roommates and domestic disputes. With everyone spending more time at home, there is also one thing that will be inevitably increasing: electricity bills.

Our crew hard at work installing solar panels in Denver, Colorado.

As individuals have locked down and are generally working from home, the trends of a few months in residential electricity has been pretty shocking. So despite a decrease in commercial demand, Ohm Connect has reported that California’s residential electricity surged 9.4%, which will cost homeowners roughly $1.2 billion over the course of the year. The report notes that the increase is largely due to time of use metering, where customers are billed for higher amounts during peak use hours.


Here in Colorado, homeowners now essentially have 3 main factors working against their electricity bills: more time spent at home using power, time of use metering, and Xcel Energy’s rate increases. Plus, with Memorial Day behind us, large amounts of air conditioning use this summer will likely result in a more dramatic, seasonal utility bill increase.


After a $41.5 million increase in 2020, Xcel is already planning an increase in peak tier charges for next year. Members of the solar union, among other bodies, are working on legislation to prevent the increase, however customers may have to pay as much as $0.24 per watt during peak hours. This means that if you plan to run your 1800W dishwasher for an hour after dinner, it could cost you as much as an extra $15 per month on your electricity bill.


Of course, these trends are not limited to Xcel’s massive territory. In Southern Colorado, San Isabel reported a 6% increase in electricity usage among its customers. Up in Longmont, the city’s commercial energy consumption was down, while residential electricity use increased by 1.4% during March, where there were roughly only 2 weeks of the stay-at-home order enforced. Nationwide, speculators worry that the loss in commercial electricity demand paired with the increased use residentially will result in a dramatic increase in home electricity bills.


So what can be done to save money on your electricity spend while at home? We recommend a close monitoring of your electricity use in relation to time of use billing, as well as the installation of solar panels. As a local solar company in Denver, Colorado, we can show you directly how your increased electricity bills can be thwarted with a rooftop solar panel system. Feel free to contact us today for more information and a free savings estimate on your home’s electricity!