With colder temperatures on the way, Xcel Energy offers a range of tips and programs to help customers save on their energy bills as we head into the winter heating season. Customers are encouraged to reach out if they’re having trouble paying their energy bills, so Xcel can help with payment plans or connect them to energy assistance programs that can help.
As winter approaches, there is a nationwide increase in the cost of natural gas, due to supply and demand pressures. Xcel Energy purchases natural gas at wholesale, and the cost of the natural gas provided to customers and used to generate electricity is passed along to customers without markup. With these higher natural gas prices, an average customer who uses the same amount of energy this winter as last winter will see an increase in their bills.
Steps to save
While natural gas continues to be the most affordable way to heat a home, with prices higher than usual, it’s a good time to consider ways to conserve energy as we head into the heating season.
Here are ways customers can save energy and money this winter:
Lower your thermostat a few degrees, ideally to 68 degrees or lower.
Adjust your programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature while you are away or while you sleep.
During daylight hours, open drapes and blinds to maximize heat from direct sunlight. To retain heat, keep them closed when it is dark.
Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling, adding comfort and savings.
Keep interior doors open to help circulate air more freely and maintain constant heating levels.
Find more ways to save on the energy savings tips page on xcelenergy.com. Customers can learn more about programs, incentives and rebates that can help make homes and businesses more energy efficient.
Natural gas prices
Natural gas prices have increased heading into the winter because production has not yet rebounded from the pandemic and there is greater demand for natural gas, leading to higher wholesale prices nationwide. Xcel Energy does not make a profit on the natural gas it purchases to deliver to customers or to use to generate electricity.
To protect against market fluctuations in the price, Xcel Energy takes a number of steps, including storing natural gas for use during the heating season, contracting for natural gas in advance, and purchasing financial hedges, which act like insurance to protect customers from significant price changes. For its electric customers, the company has a diverse energy mix, with many energy sources that can be used to minimize the effect of natural gas price increases on electric bills.