AMARILLO, Texas (KCBD) - The following is a news release from Xcel Energy regarding the energy bills for customers located in the Panhandle and South Plains.
The cost of electricity for thousands of customers in the Texas Panhandle and South Plains will drop April 1 when Xcel Energy lowers its monthly fuel cost factor to reflect historically low natural gas prices and the increased use of low-cost wind energy. Fuel costs across all customer classes are being reduced.
For Texas residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, the total bill will decrease by $4.35, or 4.3%. The lower fuel costs are being implemented on an interim basis pending final approval by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
“Natural gas is as cheap as it has been in decades, and this is good for our customers because it fuels about half our annual supply of electricity,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – Texas. “And the new Hale Wind Project near Plainview uses the power of the free and abundant wind to make electricity, further driving these savings.”
In addition to the lower fuel costs, Xcel Energy is moving ahead with its plan to refund $39.4 million to Texas customers in June – the third time Xcel Energy has refunded fuel costs since January 2019. The fuel cost factor collects the pass-through costs of coal and natural gas that fuel area power plants, as well as the cost of electricity imported into the area from other suppliers. The factor was last changed in July 2019, resulting in a 5% drop in typical residential bills.
The 2019 fuel cost reduction was put in place after the Hale Wind Project began supplying electricity from its 239 turbines in Hale County. Since then, construction started on Xcel Energy’s Sagamore Wind Project near Portales, New Mexico, in Roosevelt County. Wind energy from Sagamore will benefit both New Mexico and Texas customers and reduce fuel costs even further in 2021.