Xcel Energy should stop blaming the pandemic for rising utility bills


MINOT, N.D. — Heating our homes this winter is going to be a lot more expensive, the headlines tell us.

Xcel Energy, a major utility company in our region, has been on a public relations campaign warning about this. “Heating costs could jump this winter amid surging natural gas prices,” reports our own Adam Willis, citing estimates from Xcel concluding that the average North Dakota household will pay $164 more in heating bills this year.

Xcel’s messaging is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic as the driving force behind this spike in prices. “Production has not yet rebounded from the pandemic and there’s greater demand in the country and through exports,” Matt Lindstrom, a spokesperson for Xcel Energy, told a Minnesota publication.

Not mentioned, no doubt because it’s not terribly convenient for Xcel’s green energy push, is that the “dash to gas” for electrical generation is what’s driving higher utility prices.

That’s really not a debatable statement.

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