Xcel Energy Continues To Deliver Progress In Achieving Carbon Reduction Goals

§ Sustainability report also shows job creation in communities, uptick in service reliability


MINNEAPOLIS (June 12, 2024) – Xcel Energy has reduced carbon emissions 54% from the electricity it provides to customers from 2005 levels, the company announced in its 19th annual Sustainability Report today.

Xcel Energy was the first U.S. energy provider to set aggressive goals to reduce carbon emissions from electricity, heating and transportation. The company’s 2018 goal aims to provide customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions from its operations 80% from 2005 levels by 2030. 

The report shows carbon-free energy made up 50% of the company’s 2023 energy mix, compared to an average of 41% nationwide. Over the same time span, the company cut air emissions of sulfur dioxide from its power plants by 83% and nitrogen oxides by 85%.

“Xcel Energy remains at the forefront of the clean energy transition,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Xcel Energy. “Our progress in this historic transition thus far is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our employees to innovate and deliver on strategies and approaches that drive clean energy solutions and reliably serve millions with affordable energy.”

As the clean energy transition advances, Xcel Energy continues to remain committed to delivering reliable, affordable energy to its customers. The company outperforms the industry reliability standard, restoring power to 98% of customers within 24 hours during major storm events.

The average residential electric bill for an Xcel Energy customer was among the lowest in the country, sitting 28% below the national average according to the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

The company is also taking steps to save customers money through cost-effective wind and solar projects. From 2017 to 2023, company-owned wind projects saved customers approximately $4 billion through avoided fuel costs and earned tax credits.

New programs helped ensure that all customers have opportunities to participate in the clean energy transition. Xcel Energy helped customers complete about 7 million energy efficiency projects in 2023, while 300,000 customers participated in renewable choice programs. 

In 2023, Xcel Energy connected more than 188,000 customers to assistance programs offered by the company and by public sources. Participating customers received a total of $187 million in assistance on their energy bills.

“Sustainability is at the core of who we are,” said Frank Prager, senior vice president, strategy and external affairs and chief sustainability officer. “We work every day to deliver safe, clean, reliable, affordable energy to our customers while empowering our employees and communities.”

Bringing jobs and investment to communities

Xcel Energy helped create 1,400 new jobs and spurred $2.3 billion in capital investment in 2023. In addition, the company spent $3.6 billion with local businesses in 2023 and $1.3 billion with small and diverse suppliers — providing an additional economic impact in the communities it operates in.

The company’s economic development team closed on 18 projects across the eight states it serves over the course of the year, which will help grow industries such as aviation, biomedical science, data centers, distribution warehousing and manufacturing. Xcel Energy works with landowners, developers, municipalities and economic development organizations to ease the path to locating or expanding a business within the communities it serves.

Examples of economic development by region include:

• Colorado: Quality Technology Services is developing a four-building data center campus in Aurora, Colorado, which will service the growing data storage needs of technology companies. Xcel Energy’s economic development rate for the project played a key role in drawing QTS to the area amid national competition. In 2023, Xcel Energy delivered distribution service to the project to support construction of the first building.

• Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota: Meta’s upcoming data center in Rosemount, Minnesota, represents an $800 million investment in the local economy and will support 100 jobs. Xcel Energy is enhancing the electrical infrastructure at the site to ensure the data center has the energy it needs.

• Texas and New Mexico: Austin Hose, a supplier of hoses and accessories that had outgrown its existing site, undertook an $18 million project to move to a larger space, doubling its employee count from 40 to 80 in the process. Austin Hose selected the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation’s South Georgia Industrial Park, an Xcel Energy Certified Site, as its new location. Xcel Energy has upgraded its substation and electrical distribution infrastructure at the industrial park to ensure it would work for certified site’s current and future needs.

• Wisconsin and Michigan: In Wisconsin, Xcel Energy’s economic development rates and real estate programs set the stage for communities to attract capital investment and create new, high-paying jobs throughout the service area. Companies and site selectors are seeking to locate or expand throughout the region, drawn in by Xcel Energy’s service reliability, renewable energy, energy infrastructure and expertise serving large customers.

Xcel Energy engages with community members, businesses, organizations and civic and political groups across the 1,600 cities and counties it serves to better meet residents’ energy needs, connect customers to programs that save money and energy, foster economic growth and build the future workforce.

Investing in people and communities

Xcel Energy continues to build and maintain a talented workforce that matches the diversity of the communities it serves. The company increased female representation among its senior leaders by 5% in 2023 and grew the racial and ethnic diversity of its leadership 8% over the past three years.

Together with the Xcel Energy Foundation, employees and retirees, the company gave back to its communities, donating $15.3 million across the eight states it serves and contributing more than 93,000 volunteer hours for nonprofit and community improvement projects.