In addition to electric rates increasing, Xcel Energy is also proposing increases to their Colorado steam rate. If the proposal gets approved, Xcel Energy will increase its steam customer’s monthly bill by 39.2%, from $12,941 to $18,009 per month. According to Xcel Energy, the proposed rate can generate an additional $7,298,455 each year.
If you are a steam customer, you should be very familiar with steam loop system. In short, it is mainly used as a power source and a medium for distributing heat. Steam loop system utilizes the heat transfer property of steam for industrial processing. Steam system consists of a boiler, distribution pipings, heat exchange equipment, and condensate return. Once it is built, it can work for years.
In Colorado, Denver’s steam system is the oldest continuously operating steam utility in the world, according to Xcel Energy. Their steam system has been functioning for over 70 years, starting in the 1940s.
In 2016, Colorado Public Utilities Commission granted permission to Xcel Energy to add a third boiler to its steam plant and replace the 70-year-old unit at Zuni Station. The new boiler is expected to go into service on October 1, 2019.
Steam customers can therefore benefit from the increased Colorado steam rate. The new equipment can increase the energy efficiency of the steam system and reduce the maintenance price of the old boilers, so Colorado people can enjoy better steam service.