How Can I Lower My Xcel Energy Bill?

Understand Your Bill

Your Xcel energy bill can seem long and complex, but it’s important to review charges and confirm accuracy. Taking time to clearly understand your bill can help identify what’s driving costs up.

Your bill shows a breakdown of current charges as well as how those charges were calculated based on energy use over the past month. Some key things to look for include:

  • Electricity Usage Charges – This shows how much energy you used in kWh and the rate you were charged per kWh. Your total usage and rate determines this cost.
  • Fixed Charges – These are set monthly charges that don’t vary based on usage, such as customer charges or meter fees.
  • Taxes & Fees – These include mandatory charges and taxes that are added on top of your usage and fixed charges.
  • Other Charges – Things like budget billing adjustments or past due balances can appear here.

When reviewing, check if the number of days make sense, see if your usage aligns with expected patterns, and confirm fixed charges match your rate plan. Comparing to previous bills can help spot inconsistencies. Understanding the full breakdown is key to figuring out what factors may be increasing costs.

You can also access usage data on your Xcel Energy account. Analyzing this hourly, daily or monthly information can show if a spike in usage is leading to a higher bill.

Use Less Energy

One of the most effective ways to lower your energy bill is by using less energy in your home. This involves making upgrades and adjustments to reduce your home’s overall energy consumption.

Start by replacing old, inefficient appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and water heaters with new ENERGY STAR certified models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing an old refrigerator from 1990 or earlier with a new ENERGY STAR model can save you $300 over the lifetime of the appliance.

Next, install a smart or programmable thermostat, which allows you to set customized heating and cooling schedules to match when you’re home versus away or asleep. This can lead to savings of up to 10% a year on heating and 15% on cooling (

person adjusting programmable thermostat

It’s also important to seal air leaks around doors, windows, pipes and any gaps in your home’s envelope. Adding proper insulation in the attic, walls, and basement can also reduce energy waste from heat transfer. The Department of Energy estimates you can save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs by air sealing and insulating your home.

With some smart upgrades and adjustments, you can use less energy and put more money back in your pocket each month.

Shift Usage

Shifting your energy usage to off-peak times is one of the most effective ways to lower your electricity costs. The Department of Energy recommends running appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers at night or early morning when rates are lowest. You can also adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature during peak hours when no one is home and lower it when you return according to Emporia Energy. Simple habits like line drying laundry outside rather than using the dryer can also reduce electricity consumption during peak times.

The concept behind load shifting is to avoid using electricity when overall demand on the grid is high. Peak demand typically occurs in the afternoon and early evening. By shifting high energy activities to off-peak nighttime hours, you can help flatten electricity demand and reduce strain on the grid while also saving money.

Check for Discounts

Xcel Energy offers several programs to help lower income customers manage their bills, including discounts and payment assistance. According to Xcel Energy’s website, low-income households can receive a discount on a portion of their bill through the Energy Assistance program.

The amount of the discount varies based on your electricity usage and household income. For example, Xcel offers an Electric Affordability Program in Colorado that provides a 20% or 25% discount for qualifying customers. Be sure to ask Xcel about eligibility requirements for any low-income energy bill discounts.

You may also qualify for rebates when you purchase qualifying energy-efficient products or make certain home improvements. Xcel Energy provides rebates for items like smart thermostats, LED light bulbs, appliances, water heaters, insulation, and more. Check their website or ask a customer service agent about available rebates.

There are also incentives for installing renewable energy in your home, like solar panels or wind turbines. Xcel offers a Renewable*Connect program that provides bill credits when you generate your own renewable energy. Leveraging renewable energy incentives can lower your electricity costs.

Compare Rate Plans

Depending on your home’s energy usage, another Xcel Energy rate plan may lower your bill. Xcel offers a few rate plans for residential customers in Colorado, including time-of-use pricing options where rates vary by time of day. Comparing your usage to the rate plans can determine if switching may save you money. The standard residential rate charges a fixed rate per kWh used. With time-of-use plans, weekdays have higher rates from 12pm-6pm when demand is higher. Weekends and nights have lower rates. If you can shift more usage to off-peak hours, time-of-use pricing could provide savings. Log in to your Xcel account to view available rate plans or use the rate calculator. Switching plans is easy to do online or by calling Xcel.

Explore Solar

Installing solar panels on your home can significantly reduce your electricity costs from Xcel Energy. According to a 2011 study, installing solar panels reduced electricity costs by over 50% for an almond farm in California [1]. The upfront cost of solar panels can seem high, but financing options are available to spread out payments over many years.

Net metering allows excess solar energy your panels produce during the day to be fed back into the grid, offsetting the energy you use at night. This enables solar customers to maximize the value of their system. Xcel Energy offers net metering in Colorado at retail electric rates. Carefully calculating potential savings and financing costs for your specific home will determine if solar panels make financial sense.

Sign Up for Budget Billing

One way to lower your Xcel Energy bill is to sign up for their Budget Billing program. Budget Billing allows you to pay a predictable amount each month, avoiding seasonal spikes in your utility bills.

With Budget Billing, Xcel Energy calculates your average monthly energy costs based on the previous 12 months. They then charge you this monthly average amount each billing cycle so your payment stays the same throughout the year [1]. This can make it easier to budget your household expenses.

The main benefits of Budget Billing include:

  • Get predictable monthly payments
  • Avoid seasonal spikes in bills from increased heating/cooling usage
  • Easier household budgeting without bill fluctuations

Potential downsides to be aware of:

  • You may pay a higher amount during lower usage months
  • Your account could have a credit or deficit at the time of the annual reconciliation

Overall, Budget Billing can be a convenient option to stabilize your monthly Xcel bill. Just be sure to review the details and fine print before enrolling.

Request Bill Review

If your Xcel Energy bill seems unusually high or inaccurate, you can request a bill review or audit. This allows Xcel Energy to investigate potential issues like incorrect meter readings, billing errors, or other problems.

To start, call Xcel Energy customer service at 1-800-895-4999 and explain that you believe your bill is incorrect. Request that they audit and review the charges. They may ask for details on why you think the bill is inaccurate, so be prepared with any information you have, like past energy usage or suspected issues with your meter.

According to customers on Reddit (, Xcel Energy has at times let bills get extremely high before shutting off service due to incorrect meter readings. Requesting a timely bill review can potentially identify and resolve any problems early.

During the review, Xcel Energy will verify your meter readings, check for billing errors on their end, and investigate any other potential issues. If they find problems that caused your bill to be incorrect, they will adjust the charges accordingly. The review may take some time, but it could save you money if something was amiss.

Consider an Energy Audit

One way to uncover potential energy savings is to get a professional home energy audit. An energy audit involves a specialist inspecting your home to find areas where efficiency could be improved. According to Angi, an energy audit costs $424 on average but can range from $207 to $686 depending on the size of your home and extent of the audit.

The main benefit of an energy audit is it can reveal hidden opportunities to lower your energy usage that you may miss on your own. The auditor will do a thorough inspection and use diagnostic tools to pinpoint where heat loss or air leaks may be occurring. They can advise you on adding insulation, sealing ducts, upgrading appliances, and other enhancements to make your home more efficient. This expert analysis can provide savings recommendations tailored to your home that you may not have considered.

In addition to identifying ways to reduce wasted energy, the audit report can point out systems or equipment in need of repair or upgrades for optimal efficiency. You’ll get a prioritized list of recommended energy-saving home improvements. This allows you to target the changes that give you the most return on investment. With the auditor’s insights, you can make informed decisions about worthwhile upgrades to lower energy costs.

Explore Community Solar

Community solar provides an opportunity to support local clean energy projects while locking in lower electricity rates. With community solar, customers subscribe to a portion of a shared solar array and receive bill credits proportional to their subscription size. The solar energy produced flows into the local grid, offsetting a customer’s usage (

By subscribing to a community solar garden, Xcel Energy customers in Colorado can receive credits on their electricity bills at rates 5-10% lower than traditional utility rates. Customers who subscribe do not need to install or maintain any equipment and can cancel their subscription anytime (

Community solar allows renters and homeowners without suitable rooftop space to access solar energy savings. It’s also an affordable option for low-income families, with some programs providing extra savings for qualifying households ( By subscribing to a shared solar array, customers can support local clean energy generation while lowering their electricity costs.

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