MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xcel Energy announced today that the company delivered for customers, achieved key carbon reduction goals, supported its communities and kept customer bills low despite challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn and civil unrest in the states it serves.
The company released its 16th annual Sustainability Report, formerly known as the Corporate Responsibility Report. The name change reflects the company’s commitment to delivering reliable, affordable natural gas and electricity, while protecting the environment and helping build the clean energy future.
“If we learned anything in the last year, it is how resilient we are as a company and an industry,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We’ve all faced great challenges, but our dedicated employees continued to deliver exceptional service to our customers, while taking action on key priorities that will benefit our communities, customers and the environment.”
Xcel Energy is the first major U.S. power provider to announce a vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity to its customers by 2050, with an interim goal of cutting carbon emissions 80% by 2030. And it’s more than halfway there, having reduced carbon emissions 51% from the electricity it provides to customers. The company has also proposed plans to exit coal responsibly by 2040.
Clean energy leadership
In addition to achieving a 51% carbon reduction from the electricity provided to customers since 2005, Xcel Energy completed approximately 1,500 megawatts of company-owned wind projects in 2020 that are expected to save customers hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs, while adding more carbon-free energy to its system.
In addition, the company reported progress on the following goals:
- A goal to reduce water consumption from the electricity it provides customers 70% by 2030 (from 2005 levels). Since 2005 the company has reduced water consumption by 34%.
- A vision to power 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) in the communities it serves by 2030, which is equal to about 20% of all vehicles on the road—30 times more than we see now. That strategy would help customers save an estimated $1 billion annually in fuel costs by 2030, while cutting five million tons of carbon every year from the transportation sector, now the largest emitter of carbon.
A strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its natural gas business, with its ongoing investment of $1.4 billion in system upgrades that will also help the company achieve its goal to keep methane emissions below .2%.
- The company is committed to purchasing natural gas from suppliers with low emissions and joined ONE Future, a consortium of companies committed to keeping methane emissions below 1%.
- It’s also expanding programs to help customers reduce their carbon emissions from natural gas use.
Supporting customers, local communities and racial equity
Keeping customer bills low is a key priority for Xcel Energy as it continues leading the clean energy transition. Since 2013, the company’s residential energy bill increases have remained below the rate of inflation, and both its average residential electric and natural gas bills are well below the national average.
Xcel Energy has renewed its commitment to social and racial equity. The company added a new corporate scorecard metric for 2021 that ties executive compensation to fostering an inclusive workplace, promoting equity and building a workforce that reflects the communities it serves.
In 2020, the company spent $643 million on goods and services through diverse suppliers, exceeding its annual target of $600 million and donated $760,000 to nonprofits that support racial equity.
Xcel Energy and its employees also stepped up in a big way to support local communities, donating $2 million to address food insecurity and COVID-19 relief. Employees volunteered 59,000 hours and together with the company donated $15.3 million through the Xcel Energy Foundation’s giving programs, the United Way campaign and employee contributions.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Xcel Energy Foundation
The Xcel Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that awards charitable grants to nonprofit organizations and sponsors the volunteer programs of Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries. The majority of Xcel Energy Foundation funding comes from Xcel Energy shareholder dollars. For more information, visit https://www.xcelenergy.com/community/focus_area_grants.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements include projections related to emission reductions and statements about changes in our generation portfolio, such as the end of coal use, renewable energy use targets and renewable energy expansion, are identified in this document by the words “aim”, “aspire”, “assuming”, “believe”, “could”, “expect”, “may”, and similar expressions. Actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions, including the availability of credit, actions of rating agencies and their impact on capital expenditures; business conditions in the energy industry: competitive factors; unusual weather; effects of geopolitical events; including war and acts of terrorism; changes in federal or state legislation; regulation; actions of regulatory bodies; and other risk factors listed from time to time by Xcel Energy in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020 (including the items described under Factors Affecting Results of Operations) and the other risk factors listed from time to time by Xcel Energy Inc. in reports filed with the SEC.