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Xcel announces lower NM residential bills this year

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Many New Mexico residential electricity consumers are experiencing lower costs than last year, according to Xcel Energy.

The company announced Thursday that the lower cost of natural gas this year has led to an almost 9 percent decrease in electricity costs for its New Mexico residential consumers.

Natural gas is used to produce electricity at Xcel’s generating plants in this area.

The public company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and operating in eight Western and Midwestern states, said that coal and gas costs passed onto customers represent about a third of consumers’ bills. Because gas prices fell by almost 50 percent over the past year, the average residential bill for 1,000 kilowatt-hours in August 2017 was $117.65, but has dropped to $107.17 this year.

The company also said that New Mexico customers are benefitting for the next three months from a refund that Xcel Energy was able to secure from El Paso Natural Gas, a pipeline company that delivers natural gas fuel to area power plants. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined Xcel Energy had been overcharged for interstate pipeline service, and El Paso returned more than $12 million to Xcel Energy, which is passing all of the refund directly on to customers in both New Mexico and Texas.

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