Committee of State legislators will  investigate high cost of utilities


Xcel Energy has announced that residential bills for energy in March will go down by 11.50% compared to February because natural gas prices have fallen, but that is only a minor reprieve from the significantly higher-than-usual bills consumers have been facing from the public utility monopoly for the past several months.

Colorado State Senate President Steve Fenberg

On February 16, Colorado Senate President Steve Fenberg and House Speaker Julie McKluskie announced that they are forming a special committee of state legislators “to investigate the causes of Coloradans’ rising utility rates and explore potential actions to prevent future price hikes.”

Named The Joint Select Committee on Rising Utility Rates, the bipartisan group will hear from industry and policy experts, as well as consumer advocates to expand their knowledge about the price volatility of natural gas, how rate increases get formulated and approved, and other data and analyses to determine how to avoid the rate upsurges that Coloradans have been experiencing in recent months. 

Julie McCluskie, Colorado Speaker of the House

Said Fenberg, “The recent spikes in energy prices have sent Coloradans’ utility bills through the roof, and it’s costing too many working Colorado families an arm and a leg just to heat their homes.” Through the work of the Committee, he hopes to, “Uncover the root cause behind high prices and hopefully find solutions that will better protect consumers, improve stability, and save people money on their energy bills.”

With membership expected to be comprised of two Democrats and one Republicans from each of the two chambers of the General Assembly, it is hoped that the Committee, which will have at least three meetings, will develop proposed legislation to address the problem of unexpected rate surges on utility bills in the future.