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Colorado Utility Commission Slashes Rate Hike Following AARP Intervention

En español | With high inflation, the last thing consumers need heading into winter is higher natural gas prices. But that’s what was on tap for Coloradans after utility company Xcel Energy proposed a $202 million gas rate hike earlier this year. Thanks in large part to AARP’s involvement, state regulators approved only a $60 million increase — roughly a third of what Xcel proposed.

“It is quite a bit lower than it would have been. So we consider it a win, not necessarily for AARP, but for all Coloradans, especially those who struggle on a day-to-day basis,” Angela Cortez, AARP Colorado’s director of communications, said in an interview this week.

We ran ads in the state decrying the proposed rate hike and passed out thousands of postcards encouraging people concerned about higher natural gas prices to sign and return them to us. Nearly 9,000 Coloradans responded, and we sent their postcards to state regulators.

We’ve been urging officials across the country to reject unnecessary utility rate increases and to avoid shutoffs. We pushed lawmakers in New York to set up a utility arrears relief program for low-income residents and we backed a New Jersey bill that gave people who applied for state utility assistance a grace period before their utilities would be shut off. We’ve also been fighting proposed rate increases in Oklahoma and California.

Learn more about our advocacy in Colorado.

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