Posted inEnergy, Environment, News

Xcel Energy will drop $3 monthly pipeline fee that has raised three times the amount it was intended to collect

A $3 charge on the average Xcel Energy customer’s monthly gas bill that was added a decade ago to pay for safety upgrades largely now in place will be gone starting next year under a settlement approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The fee, known as a bill rider, has raised $610 million since […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News

Xcel Energy needs a smarter, greener electric grid. But should Colorado customers foot the $344 million bill for it?

Xcel Energy is pushing for a record $344 million rate increase it says it needs to build a smarter, greener electric grid. But consumer advocates and state regulators are pushing back over the price tag. A major concern is that along with an earlier rate increase and other pending requests since the start of 2020, […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, News

Colorado governor pressures PUC to protect utility customers from storm price surges

Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday urged the state Public Utilities Commission to protect consumers from gas and electric price spikes experienced by utility companies during the Valentine’s Day weekend Southwest cold snap, adding pressure to a PUC investigation of power company requests to raise prices.  Utilities have told regulators in multiple states that their costs […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News, Politics and Government

Colorado regulators hit brakes on Xcel Energy’s plan for a $30 million electric vehicle rebate program

Xcel Energy’s last-minute proposal for a $30 million electric vehicle rebate program was slashed to $5 million and limited to low-income auto buyers by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday. “This is a pilot, we just want to learn” what works, PUC Chairman Jeff Ackermann said. The commission made its decision in a Google […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News, Politics and Government

Order to close three Colorado coal-fired power plants early reversed, regulators cite “incomplete” information

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, at the urging of utility companies, did a regulatory two-step on Wednesday, rescinding the order for early closure of three coal-fired power plants that it issued last month. The November decision, made as part of the state’s plan to reduce regional haze at national parks, was based on incomplete […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, News

Colorado regulators probe why the coal-fired Comanche 3 power plant has been out of service for months

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday launched an investigation into Xcel Energy’s problem-plagued Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant, which has had chronic breakdowns requiring millions of dollars in repairs. The $1.3 billion plant near Pueblo has been out of service since mid-January. It was idled between January and June for repairs, Xcel said. When […]

Posted inBusiness, News

Audio: The end of the unemployment boost in Colorado

Over the weekend, the extra $600 in weekly pandemic unemployment assistance going out in addition to regular unemployment benefits ran out – as unemployment continues in the state. Recent reporting from Tamara Chuang at The Colorado Sun looks at the impact of that federal assistance ending, along with reporting about thieves targeting that unemployment relief program. Tamara […]

Posted inBusiness, News

The $600 federal unemployment benefit is ending. Here’s what that means for out-of-work Coloradans.

For many out-of-work Coloradans, life will change after Saturday. That’s when the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits from the U.S. government ends in Colorado, even as many hotels, restaurants, bars and other businesses have not fully reopened due to coronavirus restrictions. As of July 11, Colorado has paid out $1.92 billion in this Pandemic […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Technology

Calling Colorado’s unemployment line? You might end up talking to a Google-powered AI

The massive numbers of Coloradans who lost their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic will soon find their calls for unemployment help answered by an automated service powered by Google — including setting up a call back with an actual human. The artificial-intelligence system is expected to resolve issues for up to 30% of current callers […]