Sustainability report highlights clean energy progress, community support
Xcel Energy has released its 17th annual Sustainability Report, highlighting the company’s commitment to delivering reliable, affordable natural gas and electricity service, while protecting the environment and building a better energy future for its customers.
“While we’re focused on meeting our customers’ needs today, our eyes are also on the future – on what value we can deliver in the next one to two decades,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We’re committed to continuing our clean energy leadership, meeting our 2030 clean energy goals, and addressing other pressing issues that affect our company and the communities we serve.”
Xcel Energy has led the clean energy transition since 2005 and was the first U.S. energy provider to set aggressive goals across all the ways its customers use energy: electricity, heating and transportation. Together, all three commitments represent a comprehensive vision that positions Xcel Energy to become a net-zero energy provider by 2050.
In the report, the company outlined progress on its clean energy transition:
- Xcel Energy was the first major U.S. power provider to announce a vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity to its customers by 2050. The electricity delivered to customers in 2021 was 50% cleaner compared to 2005, putting the company on track to achieve its interim goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2030.
- In November 2021, the company announced a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2030 from the supply, delivery and customer heating and industrial use of natural gas, with the longer-term commitment of providing net-zero gas service by 2050. Xcel Energy plans to purchase natural gas only from suppliers with certified low emissions and achieve net-zero methane emissions on its distribution system by 2030.
- The company also plans to power 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of the decade. To encourage and support EV adoption, Xcel Energy launched 14 new programs in Minnesota and Colorado in 2021 and introduced programs for customers in New Mexico in early 2022. To date, more than 65,000 EVs are on the road in the company’s service area, and Xcel Energy has installed approximately 1,200 charging ports under its programs.
- Through its clean energy transition, Xcel Energy is creating other environmental benefits. Water use associated with owned and purchased electricity is down more than 29% as the company aims for 70% lower water use by 2030 and its air emissions are down 82% since 2005.
Supporting our customers
Keeping customer bills low is a priority for Xcel Energy as it continues the clean energy transition. From 2017 to early 2022, Xcel Energy added 14 new wind farms across seven states, providing customers $1.8 billion in reduced fuel costs and tax credits with a cleaner electricity product.
Xcel Energy has one of the longest running, most successful portfolios of energy efficiency programs to help customers manage energy use and their bills. Through 175 different programs in 2021, customers completed more than 4 million conservation projects, saving enough energy to power over 200,000 homes. Approximately 275,000 customers participate in the company’s renewable energy choice programs, which are among the most innovative and extensive in the industry.
Each of these programs helps support the company’s efforts to maintain some of the lowest priced energy in the nation. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Xcel Energy’s residential bills have remained below the national average for more than a decade.
Investing in communities and people
Xcel Energy set and achieved new targets in 2021 for diversity, equity and inclusion. The company focused on using diverse interview panels for hiring, implementing executive sponsorships and listening to employee feedback on inclusion in the workplace. As a result, 99% of employment offers were extended to candidates interviewed by diverse employees, female representation increased 6% and diverse representation increased 5% in three years among Xcel Energy’s senior leadership.
Sixty percent of the company’s spending on goods and services was with local businesses in 2021. The company purchased about $560 million in goods and services from diverse suppliers. Through the company’s economic development focus, it worked with local partners to attract 20 new business development projects that will add an estimated $1 billion in capital investment and approximately 5,000 jobs to support our communities.
Xcel Energy and its employees also stepped up in a big way to support these communities, volunteering nearly 70,000 hours with local nonprofits, and collectively – through the Xcel Energy Foundation – the company and employees invested about $14.9 million in our communities through donations and volunteer time.