Xcel Energy’s Colorado combination utility recently announced decreases in its second quarter natural gas utility bills, along with a slight decrease for its electric utility bills. Xcel’s utility filed its gas cost adjustment and electric commodity adjustment with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission March 15, calling for gas bill decreases of 13-15% for residential and small business customers, compared to the second quarter last year. The yearly comparisons recognize the seasonal nature of gas use. Electric bills for the same residential and small business customers will decrease slightly less than 1% (0.7%) compared to the first quarter this year and up to 7% less than a year earlier. Residential customers using 40 therms paid 44.5 cent/therm last year in the second quarter ($33.83/month) and will pay 33.03 cents/therm this year in the second quarter ($29.27/month).

Dynegy Inc. and four of its subsidiaries have come out swinging at an examiner’s allegations that they made illegal asset transfers prior to entering bankruptcy protection last November (see Daily GPI, Nov. 9, 2011). Emphasizing the examiner’s report was nonbinding and not a conclusion of the bankruptcy court, Dynegy CEO Robert Flexon said the company believes its restructuring efforts have “benefited all stakeholders and were conducted in the proper manner.” Flexon said the examiner looked at the holding company and subsidiary action for the 60 days before their Chapter 11 filing and found everything basically “proper.” The controversy arises from one transaction: the transfer of CoalCo from Dynegy Gas Investments, a debt-free wholly owned subsidiary of Dynegy Holdings, to the parent company. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said the examiner’s findings will not impact Dynegy’s already low (“C”) credit ratings, which carry a “negative” outlook. S&P said it had no opinion on the merits of the examiner’s contentions.

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