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Xcel to raise energy costs Oct. 1

Amarillo, TX - Xcel Energy customers can expect to see almost a $9 increase on their energy bill beginning Oct. 1.

Xcel said energy costs are increasing to cover the purchase of new power grids and under-collected fuel costs.

Thanks to the growing economy, the demand for power has increased in the area. To meet this demand, Xcel Energy is adding more power lines and distribution stations to make the system more reliable and prevent power outages.

Xcel said this demand cannot be ignored, which is the reason behind the new additional cost on your bill.

Wes Reeves of Xcel Energy said luckily we take for granted power because most of the times when we flip the switch, it's there.

"But we have to be very careful," Reeves said. "We have to make timely investments along the way because we have such a great reliability today, the reason we do is because for many years we made these investments along the way. If we stop making investments and we let the power systems degrade, we're going to start seeing more problems."

A cost of $6.58 will be added to an average residential home per month, and an additional charge of $2.70 per month will be included starting Nov. 1 to recover fuel costs Xcel energy did not collect for in the past. Although the increased bill may upset some customers, the average energy bill in Amarillo falls below the national average.

"If you look at the national average it's anywhere from 12 to 13 cents a kilowatt hour and we're still under that," Reeves said.

We researched other states to compare prices, and Amarillo's cost is lower than most states even with the increase. Amarillo pays about 11 cents per kilowatt hour with the increased bill.

Although this may be high compared to Oklahoma and New Mexico who pay 10 cents, there are states like Connecticut who pay around 20 cents per unit of power.

Reeves said the added fuel costs on your bills will drop off with time.

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