Xcel Wants More Money

From Representative Cal Bahr:

Earlier this week we learned that Xcel Energy is proposing a rate increase of about 21.2%, which would directly impact residential customers at about $15-$21 per month over the next 3 years. The general increase is also likely to impact inflation in the cost of goods and services even more than it already is.

But that isn't what struck me about this article.

It was the quote from Annie Levenson-Falk, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota, an advocacy group for residential ratepayers. She said: "while it's good that Xcel is investing in renewables and related infrastructure, it appears that ratepayers would pay a disproportionate share of the tab — compared to the company's shareholders."

I have a problem with this -- government policy is causing utilities to spend money, not on their core business, which is making energy for us to use, but on finding less efficient more expensive ways to generate energy. Ways that aren't coming anywhere close to replacing our needs being met by fossil fuels.
And she wants investors to pay the freight, not ratepayers, which is basically like saying -- make those guys over there pay for it, not government and not the ratepayers, most of whom will be justifiably upset with higher bills to pay for less efficient, more expensive forms of energy. Somebody has to pay the bills for the Green New Deal, so lets make investors pay for it, is what she is saying.

But who are these investors? Utility investors tend to be people who like less volatile investments, consistent performance and good dividends. Retirement savings is often invested in utilities like mutual funds, 401Ks and Pensions. So that is where this will end up. If the cost of these policies winds up with them, there will be an impact on the folks who were counting on those returns for retirement. And the Utilities will have less money to keep working on maintaining their infrastructure. In the end, somebody has to pay for these government mandates and in the end, it will be all of us. Not just those people over there.

Read the article in the Star Tribune here.