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Xcel Energy said in a filing with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that residential and small business customers could see lower natural gas utility bills beginning July 1 from a combination of lower wholesale commodity prices and less usage. Xcel is proposing prices of 34.2 cents/th for residential customers and 33.8 cents/th for small businesses, resulting in monthly bill decreases of $4.48 and $21.50 respectively. The Minnesota-based combination utility’s Public Service Company of Colorado said the rates year/year should reduce a typical residential bill by 18%, with small business gas bills cut by about 22%.

Predictions of gasoline and diesel pump price spikes have not materialized as an offshoot of including transportation fuel suppliers in California’s cap-and-trade program, according to an analysis by the California Energy Commission (CEC), which found the impact has added about 10 cents/gallon. The program generated slightly less than $1 billion in revenues at the end of 2014 and is expected to eventually provide more than $2 billion a year, with proceeds earmarked on cutting carbon emissions. University of California-based energy researchers are tracking two things: how much the program has driven down greenhouse gas emissions, which have gone down since 2013 when the program started; and technology advances being made because of the state’s program.

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