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Colorado Expands PIPP to Electric Customers, Continues EOC Donations

In a recent Xcel Energy rate case, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission has expanded  Excel’s  percentage of income payment  pilot (PIPP) for gas customers to electric customers.

The gas pilot, called the Public Service Energy Assistance Pilot (PEAP),  began in January 2009, slated to last 30 months and assist about 7,500 customers. Initially it required participants to pay 5 percent of their incomes for gas service; this was later changed to 3 percent. Under the electric pilot, participants will be billed 3 percent for their electric bills, bringing their total payment to six percent of income. Existing PEAP customers will be automatically enrolled into the electric pilot, which began ramp-up on May 1. Excel expects the two pilots will serve around 15,000 households.

Pilot enrollees will be placed in  an arrearage forgiveness plan that will forgive existing arrears over a 24-month period.

In the same rate case, the Commission also required Xcel Energy to continue to donate 100 percent of residential late payment fees to Energy Outreach Colorado ( EOC ), the statewide fuel fund, to be used for bill payment assistance for the company’s low-income customers.

Xcel began charging its residential customers a 1 percent per month late payment fee in 2007, at which time the company was required by the commission to donate the entire amount to EOC until rates for the company’s next rate case went into effect. This process was extended in the last two rate cases, and no expiration of the transfer of residential late payment fees to EOC was set in this most recent case.

The amount of funding from residential late payment fees from Xcel is $5 million to $6 million annually, according to ECO . 

Source: Colorado Public Utilities Commission, EOC