Xcel Energy‘s Colorado utility is lowering its gas and electricity retail rates in the first quarter, continuing the downward movement of energy utility bills since the 2010-2011 heating season a year ago. Xcel has asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve a 2-4% reduction in its gas commodity adjustment and a 6.5-7% drop in its residential and small business electric commodity adjustment. Monthly residential and small business gas bills would drop from first quarter 2011 averages of $85 and $347, respectively, to corresponding averages in the 2012 first quarter of $81 and $341. Similarly, electric monthly residential and small business service would go from $67 and $110, respectively, a year ago to $63 and $102 in the first quarter. If the PUC approves the changes, the lower charges would be effective Jan. 1.

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