Public hearing set on proposed natural gas rate hike

A public hearing has been scheduled for Grand Junction to gather comments on a proposal by Xcel Energy to raise natural gas rates by $139 million over the next three years to pay for capital improvements to its natural gas distribution system.

The hearing is set for 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Mesa County Central Library at 444 N. Sixth St.

The Xcel Energy proposal, filed in June, also includes rolling into base rates in 2019 about $93.8 million from the Pipeline System Integrity Adjustment collected through a separate charge on customer bills.

The company is proposing to increase revenues in steps over the course of the three-year plan. If approved as filed, residential customers using 64 therms of natural gas a month would see monthly rates increase by about $2.73 (6.08 percent) in 2018; $2.19 (4.58 percent) in 2019; and $1.74 (3.49 percent) in 2020. The average small commercial customer’s bill, based on 291 therms a month, would increase $10.91 (5.67 percent) in 2018; $6.97 (3.43 percent) in 2019; and $6.95 (3.31 percent) in 2020.

People who’d like submit written comments about the rate proposal may send them to the Public Utility Commission at 1560 Broadway, Suite 250, Denver, CO, 80202. Comments should be addressed to Docket No. 17AL- 0363G. Customers may also submit e-mail comments to dora_puc_complaints@state.co.us or use the online comment form.