letters to the editor
Let’s talk numbers for a minute. In the 12-month period ending June 30, 2022, Xcel Energy reported a gross profit of $7.8 billion, which is a 4% increase from last year. Currently, Xcel Energy shareholders make a guaranteed 9% return yearly on their investment, with Xcel proposing to increase that to over 10%. In other words, Xcel Energy and those invested in their company are doing pretty well.
These numbers tell a different story. According to the City of St. Paul’s Climate Action & Resilience plan, as of 2019, over 42,000 households in St. Paul are struggling with what would be considered a high energy burden. In other words far too much of their monthly income goes to paying for their heat and electricity. One unfortunate outcome from this, as reported from Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light data, is that one in eight Xcel customers are behind on their bills. That last piece of data is for all Xcel customers, so if broken down by St. Paul customers only it would undoubtedly be higher. In other words, unlike Xcel Energy, things are not going well for the average St. Paul resident in terms of affording the basic energy they need.
After taking these two sets of data into account, it is mind boggling to learn that Xcel Energy currently is planning on increasing their customers rates by 21% over the next three years. The only word for this is unacceptable.
The only answer to this unacceptable situation is for all to stand up and shine a light on what this is. Greed. We as rate payers need to let Xcel hear us and demand better, particularly for our neighbors already struggling. Our elected officials, particularly the mayor and city council, need to stand up for us all and tell Xcel no to greed. With our combined voices Xcel needs to hear that the people who depend on their energy are more important than runaway profits.
Tom Lucy, St. Paul