Company shows progress in clean energy transition while maintaining nearly 99% grid reliability
More than half of the power Xcel Energy generates across the eight states it serves now comes from carbon-free sources, the company announced in its 18th annual Sustainability Report today.
Carbon-free energy made up 53% of the company’s 2022 energy mix, compared to an average of 41% nationwide. The company has also reduced carbon emissions associated with the electricity it provides to customers by 53% from 2005 levels. The Sustainability Report details the company’s progress in transitioning to clean energy while maintaining reliable and affordable natural gas and electricity service, as well as the company’s commitments to further strengthen communities and value the people that make up its workforce.
“Xcel Energy is at the heart of our nation’s clean energy transition,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Xcel Energy. “Guided by our customers’ priorities and enabled by rapidly changing technology, we’re driving toward a clean energy future, bringing reliable, affordable, increasingly clean energy to millions.”
Xcel Energy was the first U.S. energy provider to set aggressive goals to reduce carbon emissions from the most significant ways customers use energy: for electricity, heating and transportation. In 2018, the company set a goal to provide customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions from its operations by 80% from 2005 levels by 2030.
The company has begun to implement its Colorado and Upper Midwest energy plans, which outline the new energy generation, transmission infrastructure, and other resources it will develop to meet its 2030 goal. Xcel Energy also plans to exit from coal by the end of 2030 if regulators approve its proposal to retire coal operations at Tolk Generating Station in Texas four years ahead of schedule. To support the reliability and resiliency of the grid as this transition continues, the company is helping to incubate and scale emerging technologies, including demonstration-scale projects in long-duration battery storage and clean hydrogen production. Xcel Energy also continues to develop new transmission lines and in 2022 received approval for Colorado’s 560- to 650-mile Power Pathway project. The company has built more miles of transmission over the last 15 years than any other utility in the U.S.
Through the clean energy transition, the company is reducing other environmental impacts of its operations as well. Since 2005, Xcel Energy has reduced water consumption from owned and purchased energy generation by 39% and air emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its power plants by about 80%.
Providing customers with reliable and affordable service
Xcel Energy continues to provide reliable, affordable energy to its customers. The company outperforms the industry reliability standard, restoring power to 94% of customers within 24 hours during major storm events, and maintains average residential electric bills 20% lower than the national average.
The company is also taking steps to save customers money through cost-effective wind and solar projects as well as efficiency programs to help them save energy. From 2017 to 2022, company-owned wind projects saved customers approximately $3 billion through avoided fuel costs and earned tax credits.
As high global natural gas prices drove up energy bills this past winter, the company expanded efforts to arrange payment plans with customers and connected more than 190,000 customers to assistance programs from both Xcel Energy and public sources in 2022. Those customers received a total of $216 million in energy assistance, a nearly 50% increase over 2021. Xcel Energy continues to work on policies that will enhance its ability to protect customers from future natural gas price volatility.
Investing in people and communities
Xcel Energy continues to build and maintain a talented workforce that matches the diversity of the communities it serves. The company has increased female representation on both the Xcel Energy Board of Directors and senior executive leadership team and has also increased the racial and ethnic diversity of its leadership.
New programs will help to ensure that all customers have opportunities to participate in the clean energy transition. The company’s transportation vision, for example, includes programs that will make it easier and more affordable for customers to own and charge an electric vehicle and access electric transportation. Xcel Energy helped customers complete about 4.5 million energy efficiency projects in 2022, and nearly 290,000 customers participated in renewable choice programs.
Together with the Xcel Energy Foundation, employees and retirees, the company gave back to its communities, donating $15.6 million — up from $14.9 million the previous year — across the eight states it serves and contributing more than 74,000 volunteer hours for non-profit and community improvement projects. Meanwhile, Xcel Energy continues to partner with local economic development organizations to attract new business to communities, initiating 40 projects in 2022 with the combined potential to add $1.8 billion in investment and about 2,900 jobs. Xcel Energy spent $2.8 billion on goods and services with local businesses in 2022 and $1.2 billion with small and diverse businesses.
Read the full Sustainability Report.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Xcel Energy Foundation
The Xcel Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that awards charitable grants to nonprofit organizations and sponsors the volunteer programs of Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries. The majority of Xcel Energy Foundation funding comes from Xcel Energy shareholder dollars. Learn more about the Foundation’s Focus Area Grants.
Xcel Energy Media Relations